Last week I got another call from GDA regarding Derby the career change puppy and what was going on with his possible new homes. He was going to meet a family on Tuesday and if that didn’t work out he would have another meeting setup later in the week. I found out that everything worked out for Derby on Tuesdayy. I’m not too sure how the process works, but I guess Derby and his new family were a match.
Career Change Puppy
Unfortunately I don’t know much about Derby’s new family. I understand that they didn’t bring him home immediately because they wanted to first puppy proof the home before he arrived. I here that Derby will get walks everyday and will be living with a father and his son. I also heard that Derby would be their second career change puppy…the first one just recently passed. I wish Derby had another canine companion at his new home, but I’m sure he will do great and get showered with attention. Hopefully Mr Wiggles (AKA Derby) will bring lots of joy to to his new home as I know he did for me.
From what I understand I may or may not hear from Derby’s new family. I’m sure they have lots of questions about Derby so hopefully they give me a call and I can find out more information about his new home and how he is doing.
I’ll keep you all updated if I get anymore information on Mr. Wiggles. I miss that boy…Stetson misses his wrestling partner and Linus misses regulating the bouts…
One of the great things about being a part of Guide Dogs of America is having access to a vast amount of puppy/dog knowledge. There are so many knowledgeable people in our Orange County Guide Dogs of America group that anytime I have a puppy/dog question I can just talk to people at our group meeting and I always get great and informed answers. Some of the people in our group have raised 10+ GDA puppies!
Stetson’s Career Change
When a guide dog puppy in training gets dropped from the guide dog program they are said to be “career changed”. When I received the call that Stetson was going to be career changed I was taken by surprise, but I always wanted to get Stetson involved as a Therapy dog if he didn’t make it as a Guide dog.
However, there are many other options for your puppy if they do not make it as a Guide dog. One of our GDA group members mentioned to me that Stetson could enter another program called Canine Support Teams.
Here’s a photo of Stetson and Derby under my desk at the office. It looks like Stetson’s enjoying his interim career of sleeping under my desk…Derby likes wedging his head between things when he goes to sleep.
Canine Support Teams
If Stetson were to enter the Canine Support Teams program he could become a service dog for the disabled. He would be trained by either their staff or through their Prison Pup program which serves a dual purpose in rehabilitating a human as well as servicing a human.
Here’s a little excerpt from the Canine Support Teams About page:
Service dogs are placed with people who use wheelchairs, walkers, crutches or canes. They are taught to assist their partners by pulling manual wheelchairs, turning lights on and off, pushing elevator buttons, retrieving dropped or hard to reach items, making purchases or banking transactions, opening and closing doors and drawers, barking to get help and providing stability for walking. In addition, these dogs help to serve as an ice-breaker in public situations and provide constant companionship for their partners. Assisted Service work for individuals who can manage their dogs with help from another person, caregiver or attendant. Assisted Service have all the skills associated with Service Dogs.
Prison Pup Program
The Canine Support Team Prison Pup Program sounded very interesting to me so I took a look at their website. The partnership was formed with the California Institution for women to help inmates contribute to society and to provide more service dogs for people in need.
During the Prison Pup Program Canine Support Teams hold puppy class weekly. During class the instructors work with the inmates on:
- General obedience
- Advanced task work and training techniques
Some inmates are selected for special duties such as:
- First aid
- Mentorship based on their special talents and dedication in class.
Stetson’s Career Change
My goal for Stetson remains the same. Now that he will not be a guide dog I want to get him involved as a Therapy Dog. Unfortunately, at our last group meeting I did not get a chance to talk to other’s in our group about their therapy dogs.
We have more information about career change opportunities listed on the Orange County Guide Dogs of America website. If you are interested in Canine Support Teams please visit their website at http://www.caninesupporteams.org.