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Millie’s First Christmas

My Millie girl is so special to me💜 her training to success has just started. She has brought so much lights to my life in the short 2 weeks I’ve had her so far. A lifetime to come💜

Kayla my wonder dog

Kayla is a 10 lb. black poochon (poodle/bison mix). She is extremely friendly and playful. She also has been trained well and if you call out “Kayla stop” or “kayla sit”, she will comply 90% of the time.

Axel at age two

axel playing on the back porch with me. He is so cute. He loves to play and have fun. He plays all the time with me or with the cat.

Axel at age two

axel at 2 years old playing on the back porch. He is a good dog. I love him very much! He loves to play and to cuddle. He listens very well.               he has a cat for his sister which he plays hide and seek with, they have fun playing together. He is a very happy dog. He eats and sleeps well. He is potty trained and listens to commands very well.

2020 updated Bear

Three year old photo Dec. 2020 he is all grown up , he loves kids and loves going to the fog park to play with the other dogs, he is a supportive boy a a true companion.

Sky Pilot

Sky @3 years old.  Rescue dog that was abused.  Professionally trained in 2018.  She is intelligent and affectionate and loves cats.

AKC English Mastiff Duke of Ulster

Head shot of our AKC Registered English Mastiff named Duke of Ulster with a 4 generation pedigree. Birth day is Dec 3rd 2014.

Myla Week one Training

First week of training for Myla.  Getting ready with basic commands and learning how to socialize with persons.  Distraction training has gone well so far.

Service Dog Retiring

Talking to police or giving testimony at a courthouse, can be a scary experience for many.

Since 2014, service dogs have been allowed in the courtroom to provide emotional support for those in need.

For Emery Baert, having Madison with her made a huge difference.

“If she wasn’t there, to this day, I wouldn’t know the strength I have now,” Baert told CTV News in an interview. “She helped me stay strong. She was there when I felt like I couldn’t do it.”

Madison is from Dogs With Wings, a Calgary-based organization that breeds, raises and trains yellow and black Labradors to be used as service dogs. She’s helped hundreds of Lethbridge Victim Services clients in her five-year career.

Sarah Selnes suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and felt anxious and sick every time she had to go into a courtroom. She said having Madison with her was the only way she got through giving some difficult testimony.

“Going into the courts was very emotional and was she able to go right in and on the stand and she was there for me.”

However, Madison’s career is now coming to an end. Those who work with her say she takes on secondary stress and is aging a little harder than normal dogs would.

They brought in her replacement, Marlee, in March. Although, there’s no retirement date set, the two will work alongside each other until Marlee is ready to take over full-time.

“We call her ‘mama dog’,” said Lindsey Gehring with Lethbridge Victim Services about Madison. “She’s such a good mom and nurturer with dogs and people and she’s immediately become that amazing big sister to Marlee. She just took her right in and is teaching her the ropes.”

While volunteers are sad to see Madison retire, they’re excited for Marlee to start helping people.

As well as training together, the two have teamed up for a calendar fundraiser. Since the dog program is 100 per cent privately funded, all of the proceeds will go towards paying vet bills and purchasing things like leashes, collars and dog food.

Gehring said what these dogs do matters and they want to ensure the program continues to be successful for the long-term.

“It’s so amazing to see what they can do and how they can really ground somehow.”

Painted Paws Helps Veterans

When Tyler Warrick came home from serving in the Iraq war, he suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome.

“My little dog, Moose, gave me a purpose to get up every day and deal with life,” he says.

That was the genesis of Painted Paws for Veterans, a nonprofit operating in Peyton that rescues dogs from across the United States, as well as locally, and helps train them to serve as companions to war veterans.

In October, the compound sheltered 74 dogs and a few cats as well. “We’re a big, big sanctuary,” says Warrick, who runs the nonprofit with his wife, Sara.

The name, Painted Paws, comes from the fact that canines are born one color and don’t show their spots, in the case of a Dalmatian, or other markings until they are 6 to 8 weeks old, Warrick says.

Both he and his wife are certified trainers who prep dogs to be service dogs. “We actually pick out the ones in the litters that have the right personalities for service work,” he says. But some dogs are adopted just as companions.

As the website explains, “We love our pregnant moms. We bring them to the Ranch and provide them with the medical care they so badly need during those critical weeks. We help them bring their babies into life and give them a safe place to grow. Once the puppies are old enough, we offer them to the general public for adoption. Our moms are often available for adoption as well, but they also have a lifetime home with us if necessary.”

Dogs come to the compound from kill shelters, and not all are immediately ready for adoption. Painted Paws is willing to take on dogs in need of rehab and give them a chance at a forever family, but they don’t accept dogs from people surrendering them for any reason.

“It is so critical for puppies to receive the proper socialization and obedience after they become part of a family,” the website says. “After they come to the Ranch, we provide them with the love, attention and structure they so desperately need. Many of these dogs go on to become our most successful adoptions.”

Warrick estimates that Painted Paws has paired dogs with up to 3,000 vets since it began in 2013. But that’s not its only mission.

The dogs are available for visits with vets, who want to interact with the dogs but not take them home. They also visit nursing facilities and Veterans Administration hospitals.

The nonprofit is run by a four-member board and relies on 25 volunteers. Warrick and his wife are the only full-time paid employees.

“We actually have a veteran who’s been volunteering for years,” he says. “In the last six months, he was so happy to get a dog. It not only helps him deal with the effects from Iraq, but he has that buddy all the time who lets him be involved with life and gives him a better purpose.”

Warrick’s personal companion, a Westie/Wheaten terrier mix named Ollie (Moose died some years back), is like a full-time medic. “He helps me with my seizures,” he says. “If I hit the ground, he will run to my aid, lay over my arms so I don’t hurt myself.

“If he feels me getting stressed, he’ll put his paws on me to try to calm that trigger moment.”

Sara says Painted Paws’ annual budget is $120,000, which covers salaries and goes to house, feed and train the dogs in two large rehab kennels and 14 senior and disabled cottages, and provide veterinary care and nutrition.

“Every publicly donated dollar goes straight to the care of the dogs and program expenses,” she says via email.

Adoption visits are by appointment only. There is no charge to veterans to adopt a dog from Painted Paws.

“Vets can benefit from animals,” Tyler says. 

CK Police Dog

A police dog with the Chatham-Kent Police Service and his handler are being praised for their work over the past seven years, which has resulted in dozens of arrests and the seizure of thousands of dollars worth of illicit drugs.

K9 Officer Arry and Constable Rick Bertok received an official citation from the Chatham-Kent Police Services Board during its meeting on Tuesday morning for their “exemplary years of service and sacrifice.”

Arry is a Belgian Malinois who was born in Slovenia in 2012. In April 2013, he was imported by the Metro-Detroit Schutzhund and Police K-9 club and sold to the Chatham-Kent Police Service.

In the summer of 2013, Arry and Bertok attended an extensive canine handlers course and were officially certified as a dual purpose police canine.

The pair are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week and help with tracking missing or wanted people, high-risk arrests, searching properties for evidence, apprehending suspects, as well as searching for firearms, narcotics and ammunition.

During their time, Arry and Bertok have attended 700 canine-related calls, achieving 75 arrests and recovering four firearms. During warrants and vehicle searches, Arry has detected an estimated $128,015 worth of illegal drugs and recovered nearly $12,000 worth of stolen property, which was able to be returned to its rightful owners.

In addition, Arry and Bertok won first place in agility, searching, obedience and apprehension at the U.S. Police Canine Association regionals in late 2018 as well as a number of other accolades throughout the years.

“Arry and constable Bertok remain beyond proficient and maintained an ‘above average’ during their training,” said Chatham-Kent Police chief Gary Conn. “This is in addition to mandatory yearly certifications through the Windsor Police Service Canine Unit.”

Since then, Arry has proved that he’s a very good boy.

Bella just chillin out.

Bella just chillin out after a long day, she loves to sit right there and nap or watch me do whatever it is i am doing at the time.

my baby boy chachi

My baby boy Chachi there when I’m happy he’s there when I’m sad he’s there when I need him he is the best dog that anyone could ever have

Canine Companion

A Maple Ridge family signed up for the Woof-a-Thon virtual challenge, all because of the positive impacts an autism service dog has had on their teenage son.

The recent fundraising challenge was created by BC & Alberta Guide Dogs, to raise needed money towards providing guide, autism service, and PTSD service dogs to individuals in need. And taking their efforts online due to COVID-19, the recent week-long drive raised approximately $26,000 for the cause.

Kai Chand and Rosie helped raised $100 of that. Kai is a 13-year-old boy who was diagnosed with autism when he was two years old. And Rosie is a black Labrador retriever and autism service dog that has been partnered with Kai.

Even though Kai now has his own autism service dog, the funds he and others raised recently will go towards ensuring other families like his have access to these highly trained service dogs.

Kai’s mom, Tara Allen, knew something wasn’t right when Kai was one and a half years old.

Her motherly instinct led her to make a visit to the doctor’s office.

She took her son to the doctor multiple times with concerns, but the physician reassured her everything was fine.

Wanting a second opinion, Allen took Kai to a pediatrician, who was quick to diagnose him with autism.

The diagnosis was a very important step for Allen and Kai, because it meant her son was eligible for the therapy he needed. But after the diagnosis, Allen needed to obtain an official medical document confirming so, which resulted in a one-year waitlist.

“We were told at one point he may never talk,” recounted Allen. But he proved them wrong.

From preschool, Kai received intense therapy – 30 hours a week. Once he went into Kindergarten, his therapy hours reduced – because funding for therapy decreases once a child is around five to six years old.

It was about that time that Allen was attending an autism walk and first discovered a pamphlet containing information about autism service dogs.

“I just thought the benefits of having an animal would be so good for him [Kai], so I signed him up,” explained his mother.

The process to obtain an autism service dog took years for the family, not to mention a hefty amount of paperwork to fill out – including accessing all of Kai’s medical records and autism diagnosis.

But the wait, Mom said, paid off.

Service dogs are selected and matched with their families depending on the child’s personality, the type of home, and the client’s needs, Allen expained.

The Maple Ridge family was matched with Rosie, and she’s been an invaluable asset to Kai.

Autism service dogs differ from regular companion dogs, because they are specially trained to service their host, Mom explained.

When she is out in public with her son, Allen will always bring Rosie along because the dog keeps Kai calm and prevents him from wandering off alone.

Some of the challenges Kai faces are certain noises and sounds that can trigger him, but Rosie is always alert, on duty, and ready to help.

“Rosie opens people’s eyes because Kai doesn’t look like he has autism, he just looks like a bratty child,” said Allen, noting that judgments and uneducated comments from strangers are not an uncommon in their daily life.

“People think he is a very rude teenage boy when, in fact, he’s sometimes struggling with that on outings…” said Allen. “Some people make remarks to Kai when he fails to make eye contact, or his speech is not what they perceive as normal or expected.”

When negative comments are directed at Allen and Kai, depending on the circumstances, Mom shares her son’s diagnosis – not as an excuse, but to help educate others.

More recently, Allen and Kai have faced new challenges as the teenager entered high school.

“He knows he has autism, he knows he’s a little bit different, so we try to find a way to help support him,” said Allen, noting that when her son is having really bad days, he relies on Rosie for emotional support.

Knowing how much of an asset Rosie has been to Kai, Allen said they are anxious to help out – as best they could– by taking part in the recent Woof-a-thon. And similarly, they’ll be quick to sign up for other fundraisers in future that can help ensure canines companions like Rosie can be there to help other kids, like Kai.

Iowa Student And Her Service Dog

Kayonna Topp, 43, endured the first year of her double master’s program with reoccurring episodes of stroke-like symptoms.

An Iowa State graduate student, Topp had been set to get a service dog, Kashi, in May. But due to complications caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the process was delayed.

Kashi was trained through Paws & Effect, a program through which inmates prepare dogs for service. The program could take Kashi and her group out but did not have the next group of dogs ready for the inmates. Not wanting to leave the inmates without company as the pandemic further isolated them from the outside world, the program’s director decided to have dogs like Kashi stay within prison walls a bit longer.

“I wouldn’t have wanted (the program) to take Kashi away and not have that person have another dog to be able to have contact with,” Topp said. “That’s a horrible way to treat prison inmates.”

Topp and Kashi were reunited in September and a new batch of puppies entered North Central Correctional Facility in Rockwell City. Amid a statewide spike in COVID-19 cases and another lockdown of the prison, inmates will have the puppies as company this Thanksgiving.

Topp is pursuing a double master’s in community and regional planning and sustainable agriculture. She chose women’s role in agriculture in refugee camps for her thesis, and she aspires to work on Ghanaian refugee camps, a trip delayed by COVID-19, but still part of her plan.

The motivation to go back to school came after a near-death experience and years of medical issues, she said.

“I could die tomorrow, today or in 40 years. I don’t know how long I have,” Topp said. “What can I do as an individual to have an impact because I’m alive for some reason? And so maybe I need to try to fulfill that reason.”

A decade ago, Topp began experiencing seizures that she said feel like a fishbowl is placed on her head and cause her to feel weak and fall to the ground.

After she turned 40, she began to have transient ischemic attacks (TIA), a temporary period of symptoms similar to a stroke. After the first TIA, Topp couldn’t talk for three days.

“When I turned 40, the whole body fell apart,” Topp said.

Two months later, Topp’s primary care provider ordered tests when she did not like the sound of Topp’s cough — despite her tendency to get bronchitis. Doctors found blood clots in her lungs.

“Had she not found them, I would have died,” Topp said. “So she absolutely saved my life.”

Topp applied for a service dog once she could walk and had the energy to train one. She met Kashi earlier this year. Paws & Effect director Nicole Shumate had to make the tough decision to leave the dogs in the prison.

“We would much rather allow the guys (inmates) to have something familiar, such as their dog, while we work through this pandemic and see what we can do,” said Ashley Anderson, a Paws & Effect service dog trainer. “They don’t get to see family. They don’t have visitations. “They’re completely locked away from the world now with the pandemic.” “They’re completely locked away from the world now with the pandemic.”

The dogs particularly help inmates who suffer from depression, North Central activities director Joe Bush said.

“We’ve seen a lot of benefits from the dogs that come in here,” Bush said. “Pretty much it’s a good calming effect on offenders.”

Despite some of the handlers’ criminal histories, Anderson said, “when I go up there, all I see is just a bunch of great dog handlers that love their dogs.”

Kashi, a yellow lab, has been at Topp’s side for most of the fall semester. The last few months have been dedicated to personalizing the aid Kashi can provide.

Kashi has already alerted Topp of oncoming seizures. Topp is diabetic, and Kashi will be able to detect when she has low blood sugar.

Kashi helps Topp keep track of her medication —  25 pills a day — and she is still working on pressing handicapped buttons, Topp said, among other skills.

“I think overall my whole life is better,” Topp said. “She’s really good at staying with me. When she has her vest on, she knows she’s working, but she definitely still has puppy tendencies. She’s only a year and a half old.”

Shumate said a common misconception is that service dogs are always as austere as they are while on duty.

“When you get them home and take their vest off, they really are a pet dog,” Shumate said. “They are silly and they play with toys and they run around.”

When Kashi has her vest off, she is very much still a puppy, Topp said — and apparently, a diva, according to Anderson.

“She was the star,” said Anderson, who trained Kashi. “Nothing got her down. She wasn’t afraid of anything.”

Topp is looking forward to spending Thanksgiving with Kashi and her family, as well as cooking meals for students who have nowhere to go for the holiday.

Topp urges others with disabilities to pursue whatever they aspire to, whether that’s higher education or another path.

“The worst-case scenario is that you are in the same position we’re in right now. And the best-case scenario is that you’re doing something you enjoy, maybe not at the same pace as everybody else,” Topp said. “If you’ve got a big aspiration, go for it because you don’t know what kind of impact you could have.”

Ellory Gets A Service Dog

After a Blue Ash girl received a complex diagnosis, her parents have been on a mission to get her a service dog because they believe it would change her life dramatically.

Ellory McClure’s health journey started in late 2017 when her parents, Brian and Carolynn, say a tonsillectomy led to a change in her behavior. The typically friendly and smiling child started to act differently.

“We had full-on rages,” Carolynn said. “So a child who goes from just loves everybody [is now trying] to trying to strangle you, punch you, just attack you.”

Dozens of doctors appointments later, the McClures say they got a diagnosis. They were told Ellory has PANS.

“PANS means pediatric acute-onset neuropsychiatric syndrome,” Brian said.

According to Stanford Medicine, children with PANS often have obsessions, compulsions, depression and anxiety. Ellory, only 6, has experienced some of those symptoms.

“Really devastating just to watch her emotional state where she was this happy full of life kid to where we’ve literally heard suicidal comments,” Carolynn said. Ellory has trouble speaking and eating, and Carolynn says her immune system is compromised.

“Anything that can trigger her body to have an immune reaction, her body is basically attacking itself and specifically her brain,” Carolynn said.

Ellory also has motor and oral tics and was diagnosed with PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder. Her parents say she is currently on a long-term antibiotic.

“I just want to be healthy, not going into surgeries or anything like that,” Ellory said.

Horseback riding has been therapeutic for Ellory, and she says her family, friends and faith help her through, but her parents believe she needs more help.

That is why they are now working to raise money for a service dog that would be extensively trained to help Ellory with anxiety attacks, speech and medical episodes.

“It will go with me places like the dentist or doctor’s office,” Ellory said.

Carolynn and Brian believe a canine companion would boost Ellory’s confidence as well since her disorder is not always easy for others to understand.

They plan to continue sharing their daughter’s story in hopes it will lead to more compassion and understanding for children like Ellory.

“Give them grace and just not judge them because there’s a lot going on behind the scenes,” Carolynn said.

Carolynn and Brian said they are working to get Ellory started on an IV therapy treatment, but right now it is not covered by insurance.

So far, more than $16,000 has already been raised through a Go Fund Me created to help cover the cost of the service dog, the potential IV treatment and other medical expenses. Ellory’s parents said they are thankful for the support.

Baby Farley four weeks old

One of his first pictures when he was just four weeks old. Farley was getting his nails clipped in this photo by the breeder. Not enjoying it one bit haha 😂🐕

Staying with you forever.

This is my dog, Oreo, she is very nice and friendly emotional support pet. The photo was took at my home, she is always stay with me.

Cinna-service dog-PTSD

5 year old Rhodesian Ridgeback.

Trained, registered and certified.

Up to date on all shots and vacations.

DO NOT separate from handler!

Fozzie Bear – Bichon Frise Mix

Fozzie Bear

D.O.B – Aug 25 2010

He is very loving likes to comfort you and loves hugs and even smiles! Brings everyone he meets a bit of happiness wherever he goes and to people he meets!