Nette, who has had a stroke due to an inherited condition and has anxiety and mobility issues, has done AMAZING work with Ella! Laurie remembers first meeting them many months ago, and Ella was just a huge ball of all over the place energy. Well, not anymore! Even though she is only 1 ½ and a Labrador, Nette and Ella and Laurie have trained continuously in many different places, and Ella did every command perfectly during our Public Access Test (PAT) at Bass Pro Shop! (the workers there are so used to Laurie bringing dogs in there for the PAT, they know what parts of the test they will be asked to participate in!) Ella unloaded, waited in a perfect sit until Letty was ready, did a wonderful controlled entry, always stayed in heel position, kept her focus on Nette despite all the many distractions at the Shop, we did turns and fast-pace and slow-paced walking, did steps one at a time (step-wait, step-wait) because Nette has difficulty on steps, rode in the elevator where Nette did the proper holding of the door to let Nette go in and out first, met children (Ella LOVES children – and especially loved a little 2 year-old whose parents agreed to the meet and greet and whose name was also Ella!), met adult strangers, did controlled exits, controlled load into vehicle – everything. We even could put her favorite treats on her paw and she would “leave it” until Nette gave her the command that it was ok. Ella heeled perfectly next to a shopping cart, let me take her and walk with her (looking back to make sure “mom” was following and ok), did not react to any loud distractions, etc. She received SO many compliments from people who came up and said “I wish my Labrador could act like your dog!” She did a perfect down/stay, and sit/stay – even when Nette disappeared out of sight a bit still saying the command stay!

Although we have had many training sessions, Laurie has to give all the credit to Nette, who is extremely intelligent and compassionate and consistently has been training with Nette at home and in public. She has done an amazing job, and Laurie is SO proud of her. They have developed a friendship that will last for life!!

Of course, Ella received tons of praise when she was done, and you could tell Ella knew she did a great job. She’s got a little bit of sassiness to her that makes her all the more adorable! She was rewarded with her favorite treat by Nette afterward – a vanilla ice cream cone!