Helene & Sprite

Over the years, I've observed most people that think I train my Assistance Dog for other people, when actually she is for me. When I go to the store with my Assistance Dog, I am always stopped by someone and asked "What a beautiful, well-behaved dog. How long has she been in training, and for what?" When I state that she is an alert dog for me due to my debilitating migraines, this is an opportunity for me to educate the person about alert dogs, Puppy Love Caring Canines, and the purpose of the organization.

During the course of a year, a friend has seen me not work or drive due to weekly debilitating migraines. I do not get a aura and the left side of my body becomes paralyzed, similar to a stroke patient. ONe day, she suggested I get an Assistance Dog and I thought she was crazy!

But after some thought, I decided, what did I have to lose? After doing some research on the computer I found information about Alert Dogs that alert their owners ahead of time when they become ill, like me. After contacting service dog organizations in Minnesota and the Midwest, I was turned down because I didn't qualify. finally I found a trainer in Minnesota who found "Tristan", a Standard Poodle. However, after a year, that trainer moved out of state. Once again, I approached the same service dog organization. I still didn't fit their criteria because of my unique needs. After some time I finally wa able to connect with an organization that completed Tristan's Service Dog Training and became certified in 2001. However in 2002 the organization dissolved.

A year later, I found Ms. Grete Krause who agreed to help Tristan and I enhance our learning and skills that we needed as a team. Tristan and I also learned together how to push the ER call button in our home, how to pick up items, and expand his obedience skills. Tristan unexpectedly passes away in 2005, and I was left without my best friend and companion. ONce again I could not drive. I didn't know when my migraines would occur and would have to rely on family and friends to to drive me places. The outpouring of support and sympathy was overwhelming. I realized with all the cards and flowers form people in the community, that Tristan had touched so many lives. Ms. Krause was always there especially when I was grieving over Tristan, by letting me know that it was okay to move on to the next dog when I was ready. Ms. Krause waited for me to initiate the search for the next Assistance Dog. She told me what standards to look for in my search, took me step by step through it, checked in with me, discussed the pros and cons after I met each dog, and she was supportive in whatever decision I made on each dog.

After an exhaustive search, Ms. Krause and I found another Standard Poodle named "Sprite". I now realize when I look back on it, she chose me. Instead of playing with her siblings when se came outside to meet me, she sat beside me and looked at me straight in the eye the whole time. We have since stared obedience classes and assistance training. She, like her predecessor has alerted me to my migraines so I can get to a safe place. For Tristan, it was pawing and lying down beside me. For Sprite, she's apply her "signals" by plastering her body against me and herding me.

Having a certified Assistance Dog through Puppy Love Caring Canines has brought me more independence by being able to be in the community, see my family and friends during the day, and not depend upon other to drive me. Assistance Dog training has taught me how to better manage my migraines, have more self-confidence and self-esteem by pacing myself and looking for the signs of being tired or exhausted whether my dog alerts me or not.

Ms. Krause is kind, caring, supportive, a good listener, problem solver, and will help you out in any way. Now that I have a puppy, it's a whole new experience for me that I can't wait to learn its up and downs with both Sprite and Grete. Over the years of being a Puppy Love client, she has taught me a lot about Assistance dogs, and I can do tasks again by training my dogs at home.

Organizations such as Puppy Love which help people not covered by mainstream organizations are few and far between!






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