Today Adelle began the next step in her journey to becoming a service dog. We like to call it going to Service Dog College. However, Adelle was selected for a special program before she actually starts Service Dog College. So I guess she’s actually going to Service Dog Junior College first 🙂
Every New Beginning Comes From Some Other Beginnings End
Over the next 8 weeks Adelle will be training with young adults at the Southwest Juvenile Hall where she will work further on her basic obedience and socialization. This is a wonderful opportunity for Adelle as it not only furthers her training, but she will also help rehabilitate the youngsters at the Juvenile Hall. I’m sure she will make a difference in their lives just like she did with us over the past 15 months.
And The Journey Continues…
After 8 weeks at Juvenile Hall Adelle will move on to the Prison Pup Program at the California Institute for Women. Once again she will get the chance to work on her training while rehabilitating inmates. Here’s a little excerpt from the CST website:
In September of 2002, the California Institution for Women in Chino, CA, became the first prison within the state of California to have a Service Dog Training Program. Canine Support Teams is proud of its “Prison Pup Program” where the Chino Hills Women’s Prison Pup Program inmate trainers play a vital role in the advanced training of our service dogs for the disabled community.
The dogs are assigned to an inmate trainer at 18 months of age, after being raised in a puppy raiser home where they are well socialized and taught obedience skills. They remain at the prison for 4-6 months. CST staff provides the inmates 2 hour training classes each Tuesday evening and 3 Saturdays per month, working with the inmates and training them to become dog trainers, groomers, and technicians.
CST Founder Carol Roquemore’s ultimate joy in the program is that “The women who have been released from prison after being involved in the dog training program, have not returned to prison. Not one!”
While at the prison Adelle will learn more advanced training specific for her recipient. Puppies are trained to assist with little things we may not ever consider being an issue. Things like
- Turning on and off lights
- Picking up dropped keys
- Open and close doors
- Push elevator buttons
- Untie shoes
- Pull off socks
- Assist with pulling off a sweater or coat
- In some cases even help with a pair of trousers
A person’s service dog can assist with standing and walking by being there to steady them or help sit down in a chair and get back up. The dogs are there to steady their owners while being transferred from a wheel chair to a bed or assist in a restroom, which may not be properly equipped.
Once Adelle has competed her training at the California Institute for Women she goes on to…
Team Training And Graduation
CST Service dogs are placed with people who use wheelchairs, walkers, crutches or canes, have Autism, Epilepsy, Seizures, Diabetes, Combat Veterans with PTSD and more.
Each person chosen to receive a service dog from Canine Support Teams spends two weeks in team training learning how to work with his or her new companion. Team training concludes with a public access test and graduation for dog and handler.
Graduation day is also the same day we get to see Adelle again and meet her new partner for the first time. Graduation will be approximately six months from now and people often wonder if our puppies remember us after being away for 6 months. If there was any doubt take a look at Dublin’s Graduation Day Video.
So that’s it. It’s up to Adelle now. I know she’ll do great working with her new inmate trainers. I can’t wait to see her again in 6 months…counting the days 🙂
Have you raised a service dog? If you have we’d love to hear about your experiences in the comment section below.