Service Dogs

Story goes that the Dogs might have domesticated by accident. A few docile Wolves might have followed active hunters around and lived on their Trash and found easy access to food this way. 
The Hunters might have passed some nicer food towards the friendlier wolves, and a mere 40.000 years later i'm sitting on my couch writing this blog, with Nala our Chocolate labrador on my lap, and Striker our Frenchie cuddled up against her. And 2 Dobermans on the other side of the couch.

This is just 1 of the several theories out there of how Dogs got domesticated. 
For most of us it doesn't really matter. We are happy to have our dogs around, we are happy to play with them, cuddle them, hike with them, compete with them in different sports, or even use the dogs in police and/or military applications. 
But what if your entire life can depend on a dog, what if you truly need a dog to function in every days life. 

2 years ago my wife got a T.I.A (Transient Ischemic Attack) which is a small stroke. 
1 of the scariest days of our life, especially for a 24 year old woman and her 27 year old husband back then. 
I was able to recognize the symptoms immediately and got her to the hospital right away.  
The road to recovery was long, and it hindered us from doing several things in life. 
We can say that Katie has recovered almost a 100%, besides having no peripheral vision on 1 side of her body. 
Katie actively competes with her dogs in a sport called Schutzhund. Pretty much a dogs Biathlon where the dog will be tested on its scent abilities, obedience and accuracy within those 2, and a third phase where the dog needs to protect his or her handler against a "bad guy" by guarding and biting in specific scenarios. 
Katie is back to back National Champion with her Doberman Ferro in 2018 & 2019. 
Well, during Katie's recovery she hated to go to public places. She would fully depend on me, and if I wasn't there, she would bump into people a lot by accident, she would trip over things and walk into things that she couldn't see on her left side. 
We then decided to start training her Competition dog Ferro to guide her in those scenarios. Ferro leans against Katie her left side. Warning her when something approaches on the left, and will push against her if she tries to go left but something is approaching or trying to pass her. 

In the past years we have trained a few service dogs for different tasks, from the tasks described above, to Diabetic awareness, to acting as a pillow during epileptic seizures. We have also taught dogs to retrieve Medicine bags and to help stabilize people while standing up.  
We recently sold 2 dogs to California that are working with 1 of the best trainers out there, to function as support dogs for firefighters with PTSD. 
This sparked such a fire for us (no pun intended) , that we want to be able to help people in need of Service Animals but would not be able to afford this. 
We select the best possible prospects from several well educated breeders trough out the United States. We bring them to our facility and start working with them. The average price for a fully trained service dog can range between $20,000 - $40,000.
We try to put up fundraisers to pay for the full acquisition of the dogs, and we do the initial training free of charge. 
After that we try to bring the new owners in touch with reputable organizations and or trainers that can work with them towards specific needs. 

Our first fundraiser will help at least 4 people, and we are sorting trough a bunch of applications for the right matches. 
Please read the first 3 Bio's on our fundraiser page, and we would truly appreciate any type of support you're able to give towards this cause. 

Happy Training! 

- Joeri Veth