Supporting A Dog Like Eddie
It has been just over a year since I have posted here about Eddie, a black Labrador Retriever who came to live with me at eight weeks of age. This is when we began our journey together of learning service dog work through the Helping Paws organization.
Helping Paws places their puppies into the hands of Volunteer Foster Home Trainers, who in turn, agree to care for and train the pup for just over a two year period. Of course, this is all under the guidance of the organization and their trainers. By doing this, it drastically cuts down the cost to those in need of a service dog. Cutting the costs from the double digits of thousands, to just hundreds, which covers costs for needed adaptive equipment. Since the 1980's, Helping Paws has placed over 200 dogs with recipients. Some dogs are sent home with Veterans who suffer from post traumatic stress disorder and others are sent home to people with physical disabilities. They recently also implemented a new program placing dogs in care facilities.
When I wrote here regarding Eddie a year ago, his repertoire of cues was around 10. Since that time his repertoire has grown to approximately 52 plus known cues. Eddie has learned cues such as 'snuggle', which is resting his head on my shoulder, 'light' , in which he turns a light switch on and off, 'push', in which he closes doors and drawers, as well as a three step directive of 'get it, bring, give', which is the retrieval, bringing, and placing an item directly into my hand, including the laundry from the dryer.
Eddie's most liked cues thus far, are, 'get it, bring , give, light, push and snuggle'. His dislikes so far are, under, drop, stay, in which he must go under a table and relax there until the owner is ready to leave an establishment. He is a retriever after all, and he is always ready and willing to work. Relaxing is not a Retriever's strong point!
So far, it has been an amazing journey, of course, one that will likely be saddened when it comes time for Eddie to move to the next chapter of his life. That being said, I have found that when you volunteer within the Helping Paws Organization, somewhere along the way, you have symbolically invited an extended family to your Thanksgiving dinner table. A family which consists of trainers, assistant trainers, dog sitters, other foster home trainers, PR people, dog lovers, and past recipients of HP dogs, who are forever grateful for the work you put into one of these dogs, a dog like Eddie.
Give To The Max day in Minnesota, is a time for all to open their hearts, and wallets, to give what they can to an organization that makes a difference in another's life and within the community.
So, if you are a business looking to make that last tax deduction of the year, a group of students or co-workers taking a collection, or someone that just wants to support a well deserved organization, this is your chance to help! In the spirit of giving, please go to this link and make a difference in someone's life!
To check for fun upcoming events such as the Tail Waggin' Dinner Auction go to this link
Below, enjoy this uplifting story of Jake, an up and coming Lawyer and his dog from Helping Paws.
Eddie will surely appreciate every dollar you can spare!
In the meantime, enjoy the rest of Eddie's journey on his face book page