By Renée Duncan
We are proud to share the following article, which was originally published in the MindBody Solutions newsletter and written by our very own Lorrie O’Neal, foster home trainer to Golden Retriever, Jaya!
Gurus everywhere! Lessons from Jaya….
Sometimes I think I learned more from Jaya then she’s learned from me in training her these past 2 years. When she arrived at 8 weeks old, she came with two binders of information, a seventy word cue list, a thirty pound bag of dog food and a kennel. She learned to sit and greet, I learned patience and positive training. She learned to close doors and drawers, turn on/off lights and retrieve items when asked. I learned to pack the doggy bag with a variety of treats, bags and training aids, to plan ahead but expect things will change and roll with it.
Today she opens doors with a special hook device, can place an item on a counter and can even carry small items in her mouth or tote bag. Jaya and I look to the day she will be matched with her forever partner to make someone’s life, that is challenged with a disability or PTSD, a lot brighter. Sure, we will be sad to not see each other every day but the work and bond to a forever friend is invaluable. There is no price for the love of Jaya or any service dog.
~ Lorrie O’Neal, Therapy Dog Trainer, U.S. Military Veteran, MBS student/assistant/Opening Yoga graduate
For information on how to become a Helping Paws foster home trainer, please visit www.helpingpaws.org.