Jul 20, 2015

5 Reasons Why You Should Raise A Service Dog

Power Paws Assistance Dogs, has played a huge part in our lives for the past 10 years. We have taken a few breaks in-between puppies, but every time we manage to come right back (puppy fever) Volunteering is pretty addictive. This post will give you our top 5 reasons why you should raise a service dog along with a Q&A to top it all off.
 Let's get this party started!


A Quick note:
Not all of the dogs that we have raised have graduated. Approximately 85% of Power Paws Assistance Dogs puppies are successfully placed with individuals to help them achieve independence.
Some puppies have a different calling in life or health problems that require them to retire. THAT IS OKAY. These sweet lil' guys go to happy, safe homes. They are still amazing dogs!

- MAJOR CONFIDENCE BUILDER -

Raising a service dog is hard. Especially for the first week. You have an energetic puppy that is excited to learn, but doesn't always know what is a chew toy and what is not, he/she needs to be house trained and you are beginning to branch out from basic cues to cues that are harder for you as a trainer to teach. 
Thank goodness for weekly trainer classes!

But... man. What a confidence builder. "Oh yea, no big deal. My dog just took off your socks, brought you a water bottle and had a giddy smile the entire time". The giddy smile comes naturally, but you gave this puppy the tools necessary for someone to be independent!
- PUPPY LOVE -

List your top ten favorite things in the entire universe. If puppies aren't within the first 5, then go onto YouTube and search "cute puppies". Got it? Now you have lived.
Seriously, puppy love is the best. Due to the amount of time that you are spending with your dog, your puppy will come to ADORE you.
"You are my master and I love you!" (name that movie)

- AMAZING LIFE EXPERIENCES -

It is pretty neat to work with your dog, learn the cues and then take him/her out into public. Having had the opportunity to take a puppy to Disneyland on three different occasions, we can definitely attest to that :) Additionally, puppy raisers and trainers are some of the most amazing people on earth! It would be impossible to raise a puppy without the incredible support system that we have found at  Power Paws Assistance Dogs.
- A GREATER SENSE OF COMPASSION - 

Having the powerful opportunity to work closely with and speak with the individuals that are receiving these amazing dogs, is priceless.

 - CHANGE SOMEONES LIFE -

The work that we put in as puppy raisers is all volunteer. The vet bills, food and other various costs fall to us. But no price is too heavy to change someone's life. Because of this amazing dog, they get their independence back!

Here is a quote from Power Paws explaining their powerful mission: "According to the 2000 US Census, over 25 million Americans are unable to walk 1/4 of a mile or even climb 10 stairs without some kind of assistance. At Power Paws, we believe that it is the right of every person to pursue the quality of life they want, and by providing skilled service dogs we can give back to our communities and their citizens. Power Paws, a nonprofit organization, is dedicated to empowering adults and children with disabilities for greater independence. We are able to do this through specialized programs." - Power Paws Assistance Dogs

Lulu had the amazing opportunity of being Quail's puppy raiser until Quail went back to Power Paws for additional training. Raising a puppy is entirely a team effort.

Quail was even on the news! Check it out!
 

Here are a few frequently asked questions:
Q: How do I become a puppy raiser?

A: First you need to find an organization in your area that facilitates puppy raiser training. Power Paws has specific requirements you must meet in order to become a puppy raiser, you can read all them right here!
If you are unsure where a local service dog organization is, check out Assistance Dogs International.
Q: HOW IN THE WORLD AM I SUPPOSED TO GIVE-UP A PUPPY!!!!!

A: You know from the very beginning that this puppy will return to the organization within the next 14-24 months for further training and eventual placement. That knowledge does make it a bit easier, but there are still a few tears and ice cream eating. The easiest remedy is to raise another puppy!
One thing is for sure:
Because you volunteered and put in the time and work, this dog is going to CHANGE SOMEONE'S LIFE!!! That is by-far the coolest feeling.

Q: What should I do if I see a service dog in public?
Can I pet it?

As this hilarious video demonstrates, the dog is working. ADMIRE FROM AFAR. QUIETLY. PLEASE DO NOT PAT THE POOCH. The last thing we need is for our puppy to get all excited and loose his concentration. Plus, unknowingly you may be invading the handler's privacy. Go on your phone and look up cute puppy pictures as a way to distract yourself. OR RAISE YOUR OWN PUPPY!!!!!!!
 "Watch Me" is one of the very first commands they learn.
If you have any other questions, feel free to ask us in the comments or send us an email!

Be sure to check out Power Paws Assistance Dogs's website and 
Face Book page!
- Kenna & Lulu -

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If you leave us a question, we will to respond to you as promptly as possible, or feel free to e-mail us at: kennaandlulu@gmai.com