Although I have not received the official email, the representative of Susquehanna Service Dogs who came to tour my home today gave me the verbal confirmation that I will soon be on the waiting list for a mobility and balance dog. I’m just about one year in to the four year process, and the representative confirmed that it will be 2-3 more years until I receive a dog.
But that’s good as I have to pay off some debt and save the $5,000 to pay for the dog.
From what I understand of the process, I will spend some more time working with dogs so that the organization can evaluate exactly what I need from a working dog companion. I will meet puppies when my name gets further up the list, and eventually one puppy will bond with me and they’ll send that puppy to a puppy raiser for basic training and then it will complete its specialized training with Susquehanna Service Dogs.
When that dog turns two, a vet will evaluate him/her to make sure its joints and health are adequate for mobility work.
Then I’ll spend several weeks training with the dog before bringing him/her home.
I think by the end of the visit with us, the representative of Susquehanna Service Dogs might have been afraid we were going to pull even more animals out of some random places.
The teenager did a great job explaining all of her animal training techniques and procedures. Even if she did babble a little due to CVS running out of her ADHD meds and her forgetting her hearing aids… but the representative of Susquehanna Service Dogs was polite, loves cats, couldn’t believe how nice our neighbor was to let us use her fenced in yard, and seemed genuinely appreciative of The Teenager’s creative ingenuity regarding household problems.
So, yeah, a new adventure awaits.