Sunday, November 24, 2013

Five Years Together and The Process Begins Again

October marked Shilo's and my fifth anniversary as a team. As many of my loyal readers may remember Shilo was taken into training as an adult dog estimated at 2 years old, so that made her three-ish at placement. I believe in retiring my dogs before some age-related health concern makes it an urgent necessity on both parts;  therefore, at the end of September I emailed Summit to begin the process of a successor placement.  Many of you may be asking yourself why I am going through a school when I am capable of training a dog myself to meet my needs in a service dog. The answer is simple.
1.Finding a suitablbe potential candidate is a crap shoot in the best of times even when one knows what they are looking for and what they need.
2. Anything can happen during the training and maturation process to turn a once promising candidate into a washout; leaving the person needing a service back at the beginning maybe a little richer in experience but more poor in time, emotional fortitude, energy, and money.
3. A service dog partner must look at the successor process as it will fit into their life as a multiple year process. The age old where do you want to be in 3 years question. Do you want to be just starting a full time working partnership ot do you want to have been in a well established partnership for a year or more?
With my life including full time work with adult with developmental disabilities, dating, family, advocacy, and more I know I can have nothing less than a finished, mature service dog who is ready to join my life full time right out of the gate.

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