Day 3 – Service Dog Training

Each day seems to get better and better. I don’t think Sophia agrees as she is getting very tired of this new routine. This organization is absolutely great and the trainers and dogs are wonderful but the stress of this schedule and lack of coping mechanisms for our autistic kids is already overwhelming. All of the senses seem to be under stress: the smell of the dogs all in one building seems to be the first trigger. The sounds of all the other children, dogs and toys (there is no “quiet” area) seems to be the second trigger and missing their daily routine and familiar coping skills like their home, swings, etc. tops the cake. Add a few too many unfamiliar transitions like lunch, parks and malls and you are in for a really tough day.

Today we went to the park and Truman had a chance to track Sophia. I hid with her and a trainer and my husband followed the lead trainer with Truman as he tracked her scent all the way across the park. It was awesome! These dogs are very cool! We need to do a lot of work on this yet to get him to really have her scent which is why the bonding is important. That is going great by the way…they are sleeping already for their third night.

We also learned how to command the dog to sit under a table in public today as well as some cool tricks. Sophia had fun with the tricks. Tomorrow my 7 year old, Cecelia, comes down for the rest of the week to meet Truman. Hopefully they will hit it off great. We are getting a much needed night of rest. My husband and son went to a movie, Sophia had a bath and then we jumped in bed (Truman too) to watch a early movie. She needed a good nights rest with no commotion in the room.

Overall, great day, great people, excellent trainers and really, really cool dogs! For those of you coming in the future, here are a few more pictures of the facility:

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