HSDM rocks! Meet my new team!

sheepco(MN z4)September 23, 2009

I am humbled by what I learn from Hearing & Service Dogs of MN and the clients I am honored to be allowed to help train every time they call me to help out out here in the "sticks" - too far for trainers in the Twin Cities to drive to 2 or 3 times a week. HSDM continues to provide dogs that are either rescued from the Minneapolis/St.Paul area pounds and given new jobs to do or donated from breeders with a life of service in mind, and go to their new life partners free of charge, after months of training.

Meet Earle, an active high school teacher, husband and father with brittle Type I Diabetes, and Belle, a 20 month old Golden Retriever Diabetic Assist Dog. They completed their Certification last month!

Belle came fully trained to do all the assistance stuff (open doors and drawers, push handicap door and elevator buttons, retrieve ANYTHING including a dime off the floor, etc) and be a perfect lady in public. Once in his home we trained Belle to recognize the scent of Earle's body when his blood sugar dropped and to alert him so he would know to test his blood and take care of himself. Earle could no longer feel these dangerous low coming on his own. She will also go get help, or go get the phone if Earle is so low he can't respond properly. Earle's wife says Belle has changed their lives.

What an amazing adventure to be a part of! Believe it or not, one of our biggest hurdles was trying to get Belle to keep doing her job and ignore little kids! She's a golden - she LOVES kids!

No kudos for me please, the organizations that do this, and their fabulous trainers, and generous donors are to be thanked.

As HSDM says: We envision a future in which every person who needs and wants an assistance dogs can have one.

I pray for the day that will be true.

S

Here is a link that might be useful: Hearing & Service Dogs of Minnesota

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sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)

Sarah, I remember the first time you showed one of these amazing pairs. I am so impressed. The program is wonderful, the dogs and their owners are amazing and volunteers like you are the greatest. Bless you Sandy
Belle is beautiful!

    Bookmark   September 24, 2009 at 12:33AM
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annedickinson

Sarah,

Thanks for sharing. I'm sure Earle's life (as well as that of his whole family) will be less stressful because of Belle.
Anne

    Bookmark   September 24, 2009 at 4:30PM
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koijoyii(NE Ohio)

Sarah:

Stories like this turn on my waterworks. I can't even talk to anyone about seeing eye dogs without getting all choked up. I have tears in my eyes as I type this. It just "blows my mind" because these dogs give their all to their owners. If some people were that loyal the world would be a much more wonderful place to live in. Thanks for sharing.

Jenny

    Bookmark   September 24, 2009 at 5:58PM
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sheepco(MN z4)

You guys are so great, thanks for letting me share and for understanding.

Jenny, I can really relate to the waterworks. I finally got my butt to Minneapolis to attend one of HSDM's graduations this fall. The Puppy Raisers and/or Foster Families "present" the dog to the client as the emcee describes the dog, where they came from, the client, what the team does, and how their lives have been enriched. I can't describe how much those people GIVE...on and on and on... (kleenex please).

To take in a cute, cuddly puppy...socialize it in every conceivable way...raise it as your own...attend obedience classes...devote MONTHS of love and training...and then WILLINGY give that wonderful puppy to a stranger in need.
I could barely talk to these great people for the tears. They are so special. (And the tears fall as I type.)

You've got to be pretty special to do that, I don't know that I could... but thank God there are people that understand the gift they have and can give. There are so many people in need out there.

If you think you can be a puppy raiser or foster home for a reputable service organization....or help out at a shelter...go for it! Or help in ANY way, no matter how small you think it may be.

May the world will be a better place for all our furry friends, and all the humans they can help, next year.

Merry Christmas, Sarah

    Bookmark   December 10, 2009 at 12:11AM
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