This course has taught me, as a handler, and my dog, as a PSD, a lot and has provided us with a foundation that we together will build on over the months and years to come. The course has trained us to be better and more attentive partners. It has helped us appreciate our strengths and weaknesses and made us more attuned to each other. It has been an excellent bonding tool and has been very fun for us. The training has helped me think about my difficulties and not only how my dog can help me but also opened my eyes to things I can do to avoid episodes and better deal with them when they occur.
We progressed well through the course due in large part to our demeanors and my dog’s loving, sensitive and intelligent approach to life. She embraced learning at every step. It was clear to see how she worked hard to process what was being asked of her and what response would solicit a pleasurable and fulfilling counter-response. As I go through the dog and handler checklists provided in this chapter we are in a good place. I can say we have accomplished all to a degree. We’ve mastered some. Some need more work and fine-tuning. We made great strides over the weeks. But this is really only the beginning for us. A great beginning but a beginning nevertheless.
We have been given a solid grounding from which to grow. We are able to navigate our days as legitimate handler-PSD partners now, but we recognize that with continued diligence and focus we can only enrich our lives together and as part of the broader world we live in.
We thoroughly enjoyed this course. Thank you for providing the opportunity for Shelly and me to certify Shelly as a Psychiatric Service Dog.