Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A picture paints a THOUSAND words.

Weekly, Chester and I attend a training session with "the BIG dogs" ...those dogs who are in training to be service dogs. These big dogs have foster parents who give of their time, and of their hearts, to love, nurture, and train these pups, knowing all the while this beloved pet will leave them, to love and serve some special someone in need. It is heartbreaking and oh so rewarding all at the same time. These ordinary people are heroes in my book.

On Monday nights, we get to hang out and wag tails with UDS (United Disability Services)  Big Dogs. Chester, since he was a pup,  has had a special invitation to work out with the big dogs, so to speak, practicing his manners and skills. (Truth be told...It's mostly for me, so I can learn from the heroes!)  He's the only yellow vest in a sea of red ~ but no one seems to mind.

Tonight was a special night, an especially special night. Melissa and her mom came to visit UDS training. They came for two reasons ~ Chester and Digby.  Chester and Digby  have two things in common.  They are both in the line of service. One a Therapy Dog, the other a Service Dog in training.  They both LOVE Melissa.  Chester, as you know is Melissa's Therapy Dog at Schreiber Pediatric.  Digby, a Service Dog in training,  is being trained by Melissa's Jr. High School Teacher, and he spends each day in her classroom.  The student's are helping to train Digby as well. Just about the best set-up I can imagine.  (Side note... what are the odds of Melissa's doggies knowing each other?  I mean, really? Another God appointment I think.)
 Tonight Melissa came to Doggie Class to see what her favorite pups do at school!  Sometimes a picture speaks a thousand words, so I will let the picture do the talking for me. 
If you ever questioned the value of Pet Therapy or Service Animals ~~ just take a look at these smiles.

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