Friday 18 June 2021

Assistance Dog 101: Saying Thank you


Day four of placement week, we said thank you and goodbye to our amazing trainer, Patricia.

Patricia founded Smart Pups after realising the need for Assistance Dogs trainers when she was asked to train a dog for a child who was in a wheelchair. She completed an internship in the USA and when she returned to Australia, she founded Smart Pups.
We were very fortunate that Patricia chose Hendy to be her project for L. As she explained to me, she is more in the background administration, raising awareness of Smart Pups role rather than training the dogs as she has a team of trainers. Occasionally she chooses a pup to train, which was Henry, so that she is back in the role that began her passion - training assistance dogs.
The knowledge that Patricia passed onto myself during our placement week has been wonderful. I went into the week feeling a little apprehensive as learning how to handle an assistance dog is a little daunting.
I've come away with so much knowledge and the confidence that I am very capable of handling and guiding Henry to support L in any situation and environment that we encounter.

L is still amazed that it wasn't only Patricia and the Smart Pups team that trained Henry.
While Patricia was here with us, L said that he wanted to go and say thank you to the prisoners that looked after Henry as well as the school kids.
Ummmm, visit the prisoners to say thank you? No. But you can write them a letter. And that's exactly what he did.
A letter for Patricia, a letter for the prisoners and one for the school kids. Who said that Autistic children don't show empathy?? ❤❤

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