Monday, October 19, 2009

Anniversary: Celebrating One Year as a Team

Today Shiloh and I are celebrating one year as a partnered service dog team! We have come a long way in that year. I must admit this year has been one wrought with change, learning, fun, change, and frustration on both ends from time to time.

It really has taken Shiloh and I this entire time to really develop a shared languages and a set of share experiences that we can use to communicate with and understand one and other.
"I met this sweet girl for the first time while I was attending the Puget Sound Assistance Dog Club's Second Annual Conference. Sue was presenting a seminar of temperament testing and service dog candidate select and had chosen to bring along this little shepherd mix as an example of all the things they look for in a service dog candidate. From the minute I saw her I was impressed with this dog's calm, quiet, sweet, yet attentive nature. I even volunteered to be a part of the demonstration, just so I could have a chance to interact with her one on one. She never once showed me anything but what a lovely, soft girl she was." Read more from this post

"Our relationship is still very new and a shepherd's loyalties run deep. If Sue has been working with her or leaves and comes back Shiloh still only has eyes for Sue at this point, but there is a glimmer of a relationship already. She is happy to see me, works willingly, and after a bit of time can focus completely on me." Read more from this post

"Almost once a day I ask her to do something with a leftover cue from my first service dog, Bastien. She looks at me like "I have no idea what you want" and sometimes takes a guess." Read more from this post

You can read more about:

Finally, I wish to thank everyone who made Shiloh and I possible:
-The Staff and Volunteers of Summit Assistance Dogs
-Shiloh's Trainer Sue Meinzinger (known affectionately around here as Aunty Sue)
-My cousin April for her $100 Donation
-My longtime friend Wayne Terry for his donation of a Large Dog Crate ($100 value)
-Shelley Maynard,Owner of Pewter Rabbit Antiques for her $25 Donation
-Kathleen Ison for her $10 donation
-Olivia Emilia and Rob Harden for their $50 donation
-My longtime friend Anne Hensley for her $50 donation in memeroy of her first SD Andrew
-My longtime friends Pam and Loc Reader for their $100 donation
-My former co-workers at Pierce County Deparment of Emergency Management for their $155 donation.
-My Aunt and Uncle, Steven and Marie McDonald for their $100
-My college internship supervisor Mr. Jim Stevenson and family for their $100
-My Unce Dale McDonald for his $300 donation
-My Grandmother Mary Ellen for her $200
-My parents for their $600 donation to Summit and their love and support through out the entire process
-My best friends Leslie Weilbacher and Katie Berger for all their love, support and perspective!


Erin and her Dogs said...

Congrats! What a mile stone! :)

Melissa Mitchell said...

Dear Erin,
Thank you. I'm glad to see you are still reading!