Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Just never know ...

Never know what you'll run into at the mall, now do you? Keeper, a Paws & Effect service dogran into Ryan (a friend). It was none too soon as the crowds intensity was nearly overwhelming for Ryan.

Applause to the family who was hosting Keeper over the holidays. Without hesitation they took to the mall. What a great time of year to get public exposure, like none other, for the service dogs in training.

Monday, December 20, 2010

We Serve With Honor PSAs

You might have noticed that we're one of those organizations that makes every single effort to get it right and share that with you. I'm proud to share that we received American Humane's Not Monitored, Production Compliant rating, the highest rating we were eligible to receive for our filming of the Public Service Announcements.

Kudos to everybody who participated in this effort! We feel strongly that our dogs be trained and handled in a manner that demonstrates sincere respect for their care, every step of the way.

It shows!

Stay posted for the early-Spring release of these great PSAs.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Roo Roo Roo

Found footage of Mr. Roo, a Paws & Effect service puppy getting himself stuck on the outdoor table. What goes up must come down? In this case, Mr. Roo wanted help down.

Monday, December 13, 2010

They're only little once!

And they're oh-so-cute when out and about in public. Here's Michelle and her service dog in-training, Valor.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

This IS what it's all about!

We started a program at ChildServe three years ago and it is incredibly rewarding to see how far it has come. Each week, children complete their occupational, speech and physical therapy while taking a dog through an agility course. Here's Bob Henderson's dog, Potter, with the child to whom he is assigned.

I'd say that smile says it ALL!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Dewey - Our first Cat (Pet Partner)

We are extremely pleased to announce this weekends evaluations we're successful.

We must toss out a HUGE BIG Thank You to St. Luke's Hospital in Cedar Rapids for graciously opening up their facility. Without their generosity we would struggle to make such great things happen in the Animal Assisted Therapy (AAA/AAT) world.

We are also SO PROUD of our newest Delta Society Evaluator. She did a spectacular job in shadowing the evaluations and even taking the lead on the scoring as the days evaluations progressed.

And for the Finale, we have our first ever cat Pet Parnter. Dewey was a treat to evaluate and can expect great things from him (remember it's always about the Pet Partner). Chris, you did a fantastic job with the evaluation.

Thanks to everyone and look forward to seeing you make a difference in someone's life.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

I'm often asked if we follow-up

with the people who receive our service dogs. While the frequency and type of communication varies, we do make a significant effort to make sure that placements are going well, that dogs are healthy, that the relationship is working.

Today, the following texts were exchanged with the sailor with whom Gabor is placed:

"be proud of Gabor. he and i went to a movie last night by ourselves. it was fun"

"I'm proud of YOU. Hugs and kisses to Gabor!"

"i will tell Gabor as soon as he takes a break from his new bone. he eats them, but they are the only thing i have found that lasts more then 10 minutes. thanks for the kudos.

"Send photos! I miss having his silly mug around."

Ask and you shall receive!

Apparently, texting me wasn't enough. I received an email on December 9, 2010 sharing this:

Humble Gratitude

I am very gratefully to all of Gabor's puppy trainers. He gets a lot of attention when we are out and about. His calmness is a stand out. Both kids and adults comment on his obedience and appearance. I take him to our local Pet-Smart for grooming once a month. Words I am getting accustom to hearing include; what a beautiful dog !, how well trained he is (I never take credit for this except to say I have great friends in the field of training service animals), and of course the most popular words are "may I pet him?"
We go to ---------- Naval Base for groceries a lot. As to be expected there are a lot of young (pre-school) children there. Most mothers are good enough to help me by explaining to their children and husbands that Gabor is working and not to interrupt him. Yet this still gives me an opportunity to engage in short conversations (which is way beyond anything I have done since getting out of the service in '75). I thank them for their understanding and am looking forward to a time when I can let the kids pet him.
I figure it will be another 3 to 6 months before I can be confident in my relationship with Gabor and his willingness to keep his attention on me so that kids petting him will not be such a distraction. I see progress every week !
Taking all of this into consideration it is I who am grateful to you for the training and care given to Gabor. He has made a tremendous and welcome chance in my life. Kudos to all the people who helped in his upbringing. By the way I should mention Gabor wants to be a lap dog !