COVID-19 Stops Playtime for PSDs in Training


Training Center 1

I’m going to do what?!

As we all know, COVID-19 has drastically changed our lives and has also limited Healing Companions in providing psychiatric service dogs to help those with mental illness. Throughout the pandemic, being unable to use our traditional training area, we have worked to explore new tactics and strategies to provide these services; specifically finding a new way to train dogs outdoors in a safe environment.

Training Center 2

I can do it mom!!

However, locating public access training is extremely difficult now and we would greatly appreciate help from our supporters!  We are in the midst of constructing a new training center to avoid future delays and cancellations. Donations now would help cover the cost of keeping our pups and their handlers learning and playing together.  Play is an integral part of keeping the dogs happy and building the bond between dog and handler.

Every amount helps no matter the size! Our goal is $7,000-10,000 to cover the training center and equipment.

Training Center 3

Thank You!

This is a chance to support a great organization and help to save the lives of both shelter dogs and people. Donate NOW!

We hope everyone is safe and doing well and thank you for the support during this difficult time!


Psychiatric Service Dogs – The best book available on PSDs


psychiatric service dogs - best book available

Jane Miller, our Executive Director is the author of the first book written about the transformative healing power that dogs can bring to the lives of those struggling with mental illness as their psychiatric service dogs. Her book, Healing Companions: Ordinary Dogs and Their Extraordinary Power to Transform Lives,can be purchased on Amazon.

Healing Companions, garnering a 5-star review majority, details how dogs are increasingly benefiting those who suffer from a range of emotional illnesses; from eating disorders and anxiety, to agoraphobia, depression, and post-traumatic stress. Very thoughtfully written with mentions of both human and dog, Jane shows her passion for her work through this book!

Healing Companions teaches readers several lessons:

  • What criteria to consider when choosing the right dog for you.
  • What kind of training service dogs require.
  • What to expect and how to respond when you take a service dog out in public.
  • How a dog can complement other forms of therapy.
  • How to navigate the procedural regulations that apply to a service dog.
  • How to recognize the dog’s needs and provide it with proper care.

My Favorite Heeling Game ~ Denise Fenzi


This is the most basic heeling game that I work with my own dogs, and I work it a lot. For life.

Every move is followed by its opposite. So….hard control to the inside (left pivot) is followed by a fast spin the opposite way (effectively a right or about turn).

There is often a side step as I transition from the driving direction (clockwise) to the control direction (counter clockwise). That sidestep cues him to switch to control and get ready.

I am giving him a ton of hand help to keep his feet on the ground and his head high when he pivots to the left and then again to push and drive forward to the right. In general, dogs that leap on left turns/left pivots are doing so because fine muscle control is hard for them, so I’m pushing that issue and letting his body practice the movement before I ask him to do it for himself.

Ms. Fenzi has graciously allowed us to re-post her terrific blog posts for our audience.  For additional articles visit her site.


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