Meet Cyndi and Sage, Her Psychiatric Service Dog in Training


by Rita Guinta, Volunteer Creative Writer, Healing Companions, Inc.

Training Cindi and SageMy name is Cyndi and I appreciate this opportunity to share my story about my psychiatric service dog in training (PSDIT), Sage. She’s a beautiful, young, black Lab that came to me from a family that didn’t have the time to provide for her. They decided the best thing to do was rehome her. So, the family explored finding a non-profit that trains service dogs because Sage had the skills, temperament, trainability and potential.  I cannot thank Healing Companions (HC) enough for bringing us together.

Now, Sage and I are just beginning our journey because dogs are not born service dogs. They are trained with highly advanced skills to be service dogs and to mitigate the effects of their handlers’ symptoms. Sage needs more of the individualized training HC tailors to a handlers’ needs. That’s me; I’m Sage’s handler. Continue Reading →


Charlotte and Rosie – Our Newest Placement

Charlotte and Rosie met and bonded immediately!

We are so thrilled with how smoothly this adoption has and continues to go thanks to the support of so many folks. We hope you enjoy the photos taken by Elizabeth Adams. We are indebted to Will Zaslavsky, Dog Behavior Specialist, at Geauga Humane Society’s Rescue Village. He immediately contacted us and pulled Rosie so we could find the perfect home for her. Rosie had a wonderful temperament and ability to be placed as a potential psychiatric service dog and she is such a fast learner. Rosie is an amazing young pup that adapted with ease and grace in her new apt. with Charlotte. She is a very fast learner and a joy to train.

Enjoy the photographs! Continue Reading →


Crispness and Anxiety: Is there a relationship?

by Denise Fenzi* | Jun 24, 2019

I’m on a roll with this crispness topic!

I have talked about the importance of being crisp in training. Crispness provides clarity to our dogs which in turn reduces frustration and allows our dogs to feel confident in their situation. I want my dogs to know when they are working, when they are relaxing and about to work, and when they are not working at all -at which point I want to see them sleeping.

Sleeping in public? Yes, dogs sleep in public perfectly well – if they know that is expected! And how does one communicate when it is time to sleep? When dogs know nothing else is going to happen and when they are crated with reduced stimulation (covered) then sleep comes naturally, because that’s what dogs do when nothing is happening!

Crispness in training allows dogs to conserve their energy. It naturally teaches them to sleep when the time is right for sleeping.

But there’s more to it. In addition to giving you a crisper performance when you are working and helping dogs sleep when there’s no reason to be awake, crispness provides huge emotional benefits as well. Specifically, crispness allows a dog to be mentally calm – clarity provides that. And the opposite of mentally calm? Continue Reading →


Free. New. Worth your while. Why not?

by Denise Fenzi* | June 22, 2019

It is common for individuals to struggle in the space between basic manners for a dog and understanding the underlying science and more sophisticated training concepts required of both professional trainers and sport dog enthusiasts. FDSA-PPP is trying to help with that.

Here is an e-book for you. It’s free! Initially, we designed it to be a six week long class of FDSA, complete with photos, videos, and lecture. But we decided that the information was sufficiently important that we should simply give it away to anyone who wanted it.

If you’d like to further education, take a look. You can read it online or you can download it to your computer. Your choice.  Share with those who might benefit – they have nothing to lose either.

Enjoy. Free BookBeyond the Basics

*Post and Book re-posted with permission of Denise Fenzi



Thanks to Denise Fenzi for Sharing


Denise Fenzi heel We want to give a big THANKS to Denise Fenzi for allowing us to repost her blogs for our audience.  She is also allowing us access to some of her resources which we will provide in later posts.

Denise’s site describes her as a writer, story teller, dog trainer, free spirit, entrepreneur, and advocate for people and animals – in no particular order.  Denise is best known for her flashy and precise obedience work, as demonstrated by two AKC OTCH dogs and perfect scores in both schutzhund and Mondio Ringsport obedience.  She has also titled dogs in obedience, tracking, schutzhund, mondioring, herding, conformation, and agility. You can read more about Denise on her blog.


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