As some of you know, I have Multiple Sclerosis and have been a recipient of two Service Dogs, April and Junius. April, on the left, is now retired and is thirteen- years- old. Junius, on the right, is four-years-old. When April retired, I applied to get a successor dog and was matched with Junius. I brought Junius home in November 2015. Unfortunately, Junius is being released from the program and will be placed as a wonderful pet with a loving family.
What all this means is that I must go back to Canine Partners for Life in Cochranville, PA for three weeks of training with a new service dog. I have been matched with Valor, another cute Black Labrador. You may wonder why I need to participate in Team training again. Well, every dog is different. Every person is different and every team is different. What worked with April was different than what worked with Junius. During the course of training, I will learn what will work with Valor and how he will respond to me.
Team Training is an intensive course that requires attendence every day for 21 days. The training involves learning everthing there is to know about medical issues and care of dogs. Valor and I will learn to "read" each other, so he can know how fast I can walk and climb stairs, and if my balance is compromised. I will learn how he responds to the tone of my voice and my body movements. I will learn how to ask him to open and close cupboards, how to pick things up, carry things and help me with clothing. I will practice asking Valor to pay cashiers and help with laundry. These are just a few things that he will be able to help me with.
I don't need funding for the training itself, but I need to raise enough money for our three week stay. The cost for an extended stay in a hotel for 22 days is approximately $3000. Anything that you could contribute would be greatly appreciated. During and after Team Training I will be sure to share lots of photos and stories about our experience!
Tara and soon to be Service Dog, Valor