Hello there! It’s me, Teagan, sending my ‘pup’-date to let you know how things are going.
Training has finally returned to a new ‘normal’ since that COVID-guy started roaming around.
My training has been going well since I last wrote and I’m excited to share what I’ve been learning. Ready for my BIG news? The BC & Alberta Guide Dog instructors put me through a formal assessment of my skills and behaviours and said I was a perfect fit for the advanced training program.
I’m IN! Now I’m training with 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). My tail is wagging with excitement as I look forward to what lies ahead.
To give you an idea of what I’ll be learning, 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:
- ‘Stand’ and ‘stay’ in four positions. This helps the client ground themselves in a social or public environment.
- Use ‘up pressure’ to help the client bond with me in a very personal way and help to re-orient them when needed.
- Apply chin pressure when the client doesn’t like full lap pressure.
- 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.
- 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.
- Learn to turn on a light for a client to help re-orientate them if I need to wake them from a nightmare.
- Learn to stay with a client even if they drop my leash due to dis-association.
As you can see, I am learning lots of new stuff, and loving this entire experience. I should be matched with my veteran in the next few months. Once that happens, I will be sure to send you a photo of me in my graduation jacket and confirmation that I have begun helping my forever friend.
Thanks so much for all your support throughout my journey!
Love and snuggles,
This once again goes to show the incredible requirements that these dogs need to meet in order to serve their rolls, and we wish Teagan and her future partner all the best in the world!.
We are all so proud of Teagan’s achievement, and know that she is going to be a wonderful PTSD service dog.
Most of all, we want to thank all of you for being an integral part of Tegan’s success.
Best Regards and wishing you all a very happy holidays!
Eva & family