Hello everyone,

We are sad to say that all BCAGD training classes are, for now, suspended.
This will result in considerable delays partnering children with autism support dogs.
Everyone is anxious to resume all programs. Please keep well & be safe.

Hope the update from George below will cheer everyone up during these trying times.

Eva & family

Update from George, he is very handsome boy & we are very proud of him.

It’s me, George. I have grown into my body now and am 18 months old. I haven’t forgotten to write; I’ve just been a little busy with many new experiences the past four months.

Remember I was hoping to begin advanced training in my last update? Well, I did settle into my training and enjoyed being picked up every morning by the BC & Alberta Guide Dog instructors. I was put through a formal assessment of my skills and behaviours and they told me I was confident and showed great signs of initiative.

Next, I was assessed by Vancouver Island Compassion Dogs, a Division of BC & Alberta Guide Dogs. They train and match dogs to Veterans and First Responders with Operational Stress Injuries (0SI), such as Post-Traumatic Stress (PTSD). Of course, I passed with flying colours. Now my tail is wagging with excitement as I look forward to what lies ahead.

Just to give you an idea of what I need to do, here are some of the things I need to master before I will be matched with someone special (also called the ‘client’). I’m sure you’ll be very impressed with this list:

  1. ‘Stand’ and ‘stay’ in four positions. This helps the client ground themselves in a social or public environment.
  2. Use ‘up pressure’ to help the client bond with me in a very personal way and help to re-orient them when needed.
  3. Apply chin pressure when the client doesn’t like full lap pressure.
  4. Walk in the ‘at-heel’ position beside the client. This is very important to build a strong relationship so I can learn about their triggers when we’re in public.
  5. Learn to sit right in front of the client and touch them with my nose when they are ready to re-orientate or work with me as needed.
  6. Learn to turn on a light for a client to help re-orientate them if I need to wake them from a nightmare.
  7. Learn to stay with a client even if they drop my leash due to disassociation.
I am walking proud and loving these new learning opportunities! I hope you’re super proud of me too.

I should be matched with my special forever friend in the next few months. Once that happens, I will be sure to send you a photo of me in my graduation jacket.

Thanks so much for all your encouragement and support throughout my journey. I know you’re cheering for me after reading all my ‘pup’ dates. Keep your paws crossed for my upcoming news!

Love and licks,

George