Be Free, BrycieAugust 26, 2021
Spencer gets a training vestOctober 20, 2021
Losing Brycen has been like losing a family member. He was one of us - integrated into daily routines, greeting people at the door, his large body blocking the way when people are walking around between rooms, and always such a joyous dog.
And then, Brycen was also Renee’s service dog. Ready to help her walk, get her out of a freeze, and be there to help her up when she falls. Brycen always knew when Renee was upset - he was quick to come running, and put his 50 pound head on her lap. In other words, an invaluable aid to living with a disability. And sadly, service dogs don’t live as long as their handlers. So when Renee unexpectedly loses her service dog at 4 years old, no matter how attached she might have been, she needs to find another one.
Unfortunately, service dogs are in high demand, and the waiting period is described as “at least two years”. That is assuming that the service dog training facility will raise and train a service dog with the skills and physical attributes (large - a golden retriever just isn't big enough) needed to be a mobility service dog. As a result, Renee decided it was time to find just the right dog with the overall attributes - size and disposition - and do the training herself, with a little help from her service husband.
And this is Spencer - a service dog in (very early) training, and our newest family member. He is amazingly cute, curious, and sweet, and he loves to curl up in our lap. That won’t last - at least not for us as he gets to 150 pounds. He also is starting with his basic training skills. It’s a joy to see him get it. We’ll post videos as he grows from puppy in training to service dog. He has some big shoes to fill after Sir Thomas and Brycen.
Here we're learning about loose-leash walking. It goes great until we hit a MGPC* event. That's when all his neurons fire at once and any semblance of training is lost and it will take an hour until the puppy gets back into a training frame of mind.
(*MGPC -> Must Get Pine Cone).