This year, Jane Miller, of Healing Companions, spoke with Tracy, reminding her of Finola’s age and her need to slow down a bit. It was decided that Tracy should begin the training of her third service dog.
Jane assisted with the training of Chino at the local prison and felt he had great potential to be placed as a potential psychiatric service dog in training. Chino is a handsome shepherd mix, Jane thought he would be perfect for Tracy. He and Tracy hit it off and the adoption was completed. HC expects that each adopted dog will have a forever home and those who choose to adopt are asked to make that commitment.
With a trusted, and still very much alive, current service dog this is a difficult transition for both dog and handler. Although Finola will continue to live with Tracy as a family member for the remainder of her life, at age 10, it is time to move some of the responsibility to a younger dog.
Chino spent approximately 8 weeks in the program at Lorain Correctional before beginning his public access and task training with Tracy and Jane. Since it could take as long as two years to train Chino in all his responsibilities, Finola will continue to work for some time. Tracy says the dogs are getting to know each other and working it out.
Tracy described Chino during his adjustment period in his new home as shy and uncertain at first. Now she sees him as more happy-go-lucky and trusting of her and also able to act like a grown-up. He is very attentive, a great characteristic of a psychiatric service dog.
In our next post we’ll present Tracy’s view about some of the challenges.