Updates from Candace

From our dear trainer, Candace, who recently obtained a new job in her specialty, but still finds time to train and loves it!

She writes:

Victoria her SDIT, Great Dane Anika

My first client, Victoria, suffers from Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, mobility and related issues. She and her SDIT, Great Dane Anika, are on a trial period for the next 6 weeks, as her Anika had an adverse response to getting her paws grabbed. I’ve informed Victoria as to what she needs to do to socialize her dog, and how to reinforce a more appropriate response. She will keep me updated and I will reassess the team at a different time.

My second client, Kay, suffers from left hemiparesis. Her left leg if functional enough for her to walk with assistance, but her left arm is completely non-functional. Her right arm only has about 45% range of motion, and her right shoulder has had to be replaced twice. She has also had to have both knees replaced. I am working with their Golden Retriever, “Lady”, who will start training in 6 weeks because Lady was slightly skittish around traffic and I did not feel comfortable with her response to a noise distraction. However, Kay and her husband, Jim, had just gotten Lady, and I felt like they could do some basic training and socialize her. Lady is a really sweet dog, and I’ll keep in contact with this very determined couple.

Sherry and SDIT, “Rapturebuggy”

My third client is Sherry, who suffers from anxiety and PTSD. Sherry’s SDIT, “Rapturebuggy” passed his initial assessment with flying colors! I set Sherry up with a starting plan and have an appointment to meet with them in April to see how it goes. I reviewed the Public Access Test with them, and went over how to order a vest and other general information. I gave them some homework on basic command work. Rapturebuggy picks commands up very quickly. I think they will turn out to be a great team!

LaCretia and her SDIT, Boomer

My fourth client, LaCretia and her SDIT, Boomer, went through a mock Public Access Test today. LaCretia has adrenal failure and takes hydrocortisone daily for life. Currently, there are no tools to help her control the disease as there are no tests available to tell her when her cortisone is low. Boomer did fairly well with the mock PAT, but this was really to outline the team’s weak spots. Some of the things they need to work on are promptness of response to commands, not going after food, and staying in a down/sit position. The team was strong in the entry/exit of a vehicle, and they maneuver well together through the mall. From a Medical Alert standpoint, LaCretia reports that Boomer is doing well on his alerts to her cortisol levels, and we talked about what behaviors to reinforce and when.