Yeah!! My 1st Service Dog Team just certified!!
I'm so proud of them!!
I've been a field trainer for Hearing and Service Dogs of MN for several years and have trained 4 Hearing Dog teams but this is my 1st Service Dog team. Not that I did much, the wonderful staff and volunteers at HSDM trained 'Merlin' very well, and he was placed with Neil just 3 weeks ago. (Neil has Cerebral Palsy) The 3 of us put in alot of hours in these 3 short weeks and today it paid off when they passed both their public access and home skills portions of their certification test with flying colors!
'Merlin' can open drawers, shut doors, push handicap door buttons, retrieve anything Neil wants or drops (including a dime off the floor)and go get help if Neil asks. He can sit or down and stay while a stranger steps over him or under a restuarant table while you drop french fries on the floor. And after all that and more, 'Merlin' gives Neil more independence, more sense of security and of course, unconditional love.
Look out world, my guys are goin' places now!!!!