Buddha is now a certified service dog! I will share with you some stories from Buddha's certification.I remain continually amazed at how wonderful dogs are - how much benefit and love and hope they bring to humans just by being themselves.
The certification test is comprised of several small tests. The first part of the test was how well I could load Buddha into and out of our car. We passed that easily, since we have practiced that one quite a few times - basically every time we go somewhere.
Next we went to a store to do some distraction tests. Buddha and I walked around and Beth, the trainer, walked some distance behind us to observe our behavior and give the tests.
We did a sudden turn, a complete 360, various sit, heel, and down commands, and walked past several people. Buddha was perfect on those.
Next, Beth introduced some distractions by rolling a ball past Buddha as we were walking, and rolling a ball directly into his paws when he was sitting. He ignored it both times, remaining calm and alert to my commands, and staying pressed against my leg at all times.
The last test at the store was two parts. First, I gave Buddha the command "stay" and walked out of his line of sight. He stayed until I gave him the command "come."
For the second part, he had to do the same thing but with a stranger holding his leash. Beth asked a kindly store clerk to help with this part. Buddha was a bit shy of the store clerk, but he sat obediently and passed.
For the last part, we went to a Tim Horton's so Beth could observe us with all the distractions of a restaurant. Buddha ignored all the noises and smells, and obediently sat under my chair exactly like he is supposed to. Beth then put a piece of cheese right next to Buddha, which he ignored. As we were getting up to leave, Beth put the cheese right in Buddha's path, and he continued to ignore it and stepped over it.
Then we were done, and fully certified! Beth gave me Buddha's service dog badge, which is like his ID card and goes on his vest, and his license is in the mail. We can go anywhere now. It is such a good feeling.
Buddha is so much more than a dog. He is a life-saver. Thank you so much to everyone who made this possible. The kindness and show of support has been nothing less than amazing.
I had no idea that anybody cared, let alone all of you. It gets me all choked up. I cannot thank you enough for this. I had almost given up, but you have changed me and made it possible for me to begin to reclaim the life that was stolen from me. I am eternally grateful for all you have done. Thank you.
The Brockways need to raise another $2,000 to help them meet the usual expenses associated with adopting a dog. If you can donate anything, it would be much appreciated. If you would rather send a cheque or money order, email me for the War Resisters Support Campaign's address.