Monday, February 14, 2011

Chunks! More reasons to be cheerful

Don't know how I left out Golden Retriever puppy Chunks in my last reasons to be cheerful even though February is a dark, dreary, depressing, cold month post. Chunks is being trained by his owner to hopefully be an Autism Assist service dog for her young son. His owner Chris contacted me a ways back and we discussed various organizations that place service dogs in homes with kids. After much thought, and for various reasons, they decided they wanted a puppy.

For many families looking to add a service dog, the deal breaker is the time that is needed to stay over at the facility at the end stages of training. Some organizations require a 1 week stay and others several weeks. For other families, it is the long wait. While I have helped many people train their own service dogs, training your own puppy for special needs kids is high on the level of difficulty. The main reason I have found is that parents are busy with the kids which often gives pups time to practice unwanted behaviors, or parents just don't have enough hours in a day to train.

It takes a lot of time to train a service dog, usually much more than people realize going in.

Time will tell if Chunks will be a full fledged service dog and gain public access, but I do know that he is cute, and smart and adorable and on the right track. As a huge believer and supporter in human-canine bonds, I have given the family a deep "frequent flyer discount."

Whether Chunks makes it to a full fledged service dog or not, he is still a loved family member and either way, Chunks can help to contribute to his kid's therapies and over all well being.

I heart Chunks!

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