Rowan & NSD Whitby – Certified Service Dog for Autism Team
I cannot emphasize enough all of the benefits that we have witnessed Whitby bestowing upon our son. More than any speech therapist, she motivates him to use his voice; he speaks to her and reads to her for hours. More than any psychologist, she bolsters his self-esteem and confidence; he knows that he is completely responsible for someone other than himself, and he feels safe and loved in her presence. More than any occupational therapist, she motivates him to use his fine motor and gross motor skills; he is required to get her in and out of her jacket, collar and leash, and to independently handle and exercise her. More than any adult she facilitates his interactions with peers; children will approach Rowan and ask questions about his dog and talk with him about her. Rowan says he and Whitby are best friends.
Diane, Jim & NSD Lady – Skilled Companion Dog for Veterans Team
We have only had Lady for seven months, but she has already changed our lives. The biggest change is that we have learned how to laugh again. The first thing we noticed when she arrived was that she did what she was told immediately. Ask her to “sit,” she sits. Ask her to “stay,” she stays. The biggest surprise came when we took her outside where we wanted her to “go” and said, “Lady, hurry up,” and she went, on command. She has filled our lives with giggles and surprises.
She is trained to recognize our “tells” and gives us a gracious way out of a situation before hitting full panic. She gives us friendly “nudges” and grounding looks when her sympathetic nose rests on a quivering knee in a friendly “visit.”
She reminds us that she needs to go out for fun, for business, and for exercise. My husband says, “She has returned to me a sense of responsibility and discipline.”
At every turn we are reminded of the countless number of hours that went into training her. First, there was the domesticating training which was started by the Puppy Raiser. Then, there were countless hours by professional trainers to allow her to go into public and not react to outside stimulus. Then, they interviewed us for hours to try to match our personalities with the “right” dog and to find out our problem areas, then go back and train the dog to recognize and respond to our “tells.” We are so grateful for all the hours and love that went into our Lady. We are unable to go anywhere without being filled with pride when people comment what a beautiful, well trained dog we have.
I was told one time by a trainer with NSD that we are no longer people with a problem, we are people with a dog – such an easy fix for such a complex issue.
Andrew & NSD Honey – Companion Dog Team
Together we are learning new things. Our favourite thing to do is to play catch in our yard. She also loves to give lots of kisses. I feed Honey and play with her every day.
Thank you for my friend.”