It’s been a long wait.

I have missed my service dog, TiAmo, just about every day since June 2010. I’ve often thought about how life would be easier and safer with a service dog. And, I checked into several programs that provide service dogs. Most had at least a 5 year wait list. Most required that the recipient raise most of the $25,000 or more to cover costs. 

Last year, I had the opportunity to connect with a breeder who donates one pup per litter to someone needing a service dog. The “specialty” dogs they breed, called “Bernadoodles,” are $5,000 and up for a puppy. (I know, I know- blows my mind, too!)

The woman owner, who has a daughter who is deaf, offered a pup to me/us. The only costs would be transportation, vet, etc. And, I would have to wait until they had a litter where a dog with a suitable temperament and intelligence was available. I waited just over a year.

Today she connected with me to tell me a dog is available. Yay!

He is in Oklahoma and I can pick him up any time after July 17.

He already is trained in the basics. I’ll work remotely with a trainer on a consultant basis. He’ll be trained to alert on sounds that I cannot hear. He will also be trained to pick things up, carry things, hold open doors, and other manual tasks. And, since he will be with me at school each day, he will also be trained to work with students (and they with him). We have so many kids dealing with trauma and grief related to Covid. So, he’ll be a big help.

For the worriers/ wonderers among us:
  • Yes, this was all approved by our Provincial Team. In fact, we actually have a “Service Dog Policy” in our handbook now.
  • Yes, I have the skills and knowledge to take this on. The benefits FAR outweigh the challenges of training a service dog.
  • My principal gave it a huge thumbs up. She is a dog lover. She understands that he will be at work with me each day.
  • Our landlord is also on-board. 
  • My brother’s covering some of the “start up costs” using funds from my mom’s will. It’s a neat way to have her be part of this.
  • The breeder named him “Mouse Trap” since all the dogs in that litter were named after board games. I’ll rename him after I meet him.
  Can you tell I am excited?