Alice and her new human partner, Nora, are moving right along...they just started their probationary year...
Client Services would like to announce that Nora and hearing dog, Alice, a beautiful hound mix began their probationary year on March 13, 2010. We wish them a wonderful, adventurous year as they go forth in representing Fidos as a working team. Please join us in congratulating them as they begin this new chapter in their lives. CONGRATULATIONS to the Team!
I'm so tickled with this...*beaming*
To explain further...we get our dogs/pups from different sources, rescues and breeder donations. Sometimes they come in as pups, sometimes as older dogs (like Alice). They spend 1-2 years in training depending on their age. When they're with the trainer, they start working with different clients on the training floor on Wed. nights and Sat. mornings. The trainers look to see if there is a person that each dog seems to work best with. We match skills to needs...so a dog that does hearing alerts won't go to a person with a mobility problem, and we won't match a dog that doesn't do hearing alerts with a deaf or hard of hearing person.
Alice will be doing Hearing Alerts for Nora, who is hard of hearing...Nora also rides in a scooter at times, since her balance isn't good...so Alice works alongside her no matter how she's moving.
The probationary year starts after the dog has been matched with his or her human partner, and after they've done a certain number of hours together with a trainer in tow. During the probationary year, Fidos still pays for everything...food, vet care, equipment, etc. If something goes wrong, Fidos can still take the dog back during this period. After this probationary year, the dog is signed over to the client, and they take over the expenses.
To get the probationary year is a great thing...it means a LOT of work on Nora's part, as well as Alice's trainers and "puppy raisers" (in quotes because she wasn't really a puppy when she came into the program).
"I don't have any idea if my dogs respect me or not, but they're greedy and I have their stuff." -- Patty Ruzzo
"Dogs don't want to control people. They want to control their own lives." --John Bradshaw