Monday, August 5, 2013

Cast of characters

With all the new people liking Ice's Facebook page I figured I would give everyone a breakdown of the main characters you might see pictures of or hear me talking about.

The main character, as most of you hopefully already know is Ice.  In case you don't know this is Ice:

The biggest supporting roll is Serena.  She is my right hand man.  She is a 4 year old black lab.  She is a fully trained service dog, released from My Angel With Paw to me (her puppy trainer) due to failing her hip x-rays.  She was my first service dog in training and plays a HUGE roll in training Ice.  I couldn't do this without her.  If you want to read more about her training go back to the archives as she was the reason I started this blog.

Another supporting role is Reggie, my 11 year old off the track thoroughbred.  He is probably the sweetest most wonderful horse to introduce dogs to.  He is so sweet in fact that Jack (trainee #2) used to sit between Reggie's front legs and eat his food with him.  Reggie also allows each service dog I have to lead him up and down the aisle.  When the dog drops the rope, he stops and waits until they pick it up again.  I think sometimes Reggie wants to be a dog.

Serena leading Reggie
The next lovely helper is my guinea pig Gus.  He is almost 6 years old and has helped train every dog that has come through my house.  Gus's main purpose is to teach the dogs that even though he may smell like a wonderful rodent they have to leave it.  He is super good about patiently waiting while they sniff him.  I have also put the dogs in a "down stay" and put Gus on the ground.  He happily scampers around and the dogs can't move.  Eventually the dogs learn that little scampering rodents are boring.  This makes it super nice when they see squirrels outside.

Gus and Darby.  They turned out to be best friends

You will also hear about Jack and Darby.  Jack was service dog #2 and Darby was service dog #3.  Jack is currently an animal assisted therapy dog at Body Fixx in the town where I work so I see him around a lot. He also comes to visit when his dad goes out of town and can't take him.  Darby is currently at the MAWP facility completing advanced training.  He will be hopefully placed with someone soon.  These two goofy labs taught me so much about dog training and working through situations.
Darby (yellow) and Jack (black)
I guess I should also introduce myself (though you probably can just read the little about me section over there --------->).  My name is Sarah.  I am a volunteer dog trainer for My Angel With Paws, a Florida based not for profit.  I do not live in Florida; I live in Illinois and do this long distance.  This hopefully helps explain why I allow my dogs to run freely at the beach and go in the water.  It is Lake Michigan where there are no sharks or alligators.  I am a HUGE animal lover and training the dogs allows me to do something with animals while working at a job that has nothing to do with animals.  Hopefully you are enjoying watching Ice grow up and learning about all the adventures we go on!

Me and the Iceman

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Leave a comment! I would love to hear from you -Sarah