Today was our 39th dog graduation for summitassistancedogs.org. All the dog handlers worked hard this session at training the service dogs. Every graduation we like to come up with a demo to showcase our skills. This time it was an airplane simulation in the visiting room. With all the outside guest’s sitting in one area, and the plane (chairs lined in rows of three) in another area, the demo began.
I had the opportunity to narrate the doggy demo. “Good morning ladies and gentleman, welcome aboard Airlines, flight 39, my name is Marshall-heck-yeah-Byers, and I’ll be your pilot/flight attendant on this incredible flight to Disneyland today. Its open seating here at Summit Airlines, that means you can sit anywhere. (this is when all six dogs/handlers boarded the plane, then cued the dogs to “go in” under the chairs). I went on to explain to the crowd, how important it is to have a well trained service dog to meet the clients needs and lifestyle. I also pointed out the behavior they didn’t see, things like jumping, pulling away from the leash, licking people/dogs near by, barking etc, etc.
I love these dog graduations for the value of meeting new outside members of the community. They bring a sense of true freedom and vibrancy. I feel rejuvenated and refreshed after mingling with these compassionate people. They all went home knowing I love to say “Heck Yeah” and give high fives, and that I’m the happiest prisoner they ever met.
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