By Hank Poore, PRC-Saltillo Blogger
About a year ago I was in Atlanta at the Georgia half marathon with my mom. I met up with my long time friend Shanna, who has a facility dog for the Shepherd Center in Atlanta. I started playing with Derek ( her dog and yes , his name is Derek Shepherd), and I realized how much I would like having a service dog of my own.
When I got back home, I immediately started the application process. I had to fill out a paper application, send pictures, get references and have a phone interview. In September I went down for an in person interview in Orlando.
In December, CCI called me and invited me down to Orlando for a week of training. I didn’t know anything about the dog until I got there.
When I got there I got to interact with a few dogs for the first few days. I was there about 3 days and me and Ion matched!
The remaining days of training we practiced stuff that I needed him to do for me like : picking up my joystick or a napkin when I drop them. We also practice ‘ cover” which is where Ion lays on my lap or on my back. it feels good on my back so I tell him to cover my back at least once a day.
We also went out in public to practice pushing the automatic door opener to make him practice that with us. He sleeps in my room in a crate for now but after he gets used me , I’m going to let him sleep in my bed with me.
I can’t wait to take him out in public with me so I can get him doing more stuff for me!
Communicators In Action - service dog, marathon, aac, application, atlanta, georgia, assistant