I have a sad announcement to make. I have decided to wash Alice from service dog training. I may revisit her training at some point in the future and see if she’s grown, but I really think she just doesn’t have the temperament for service work.
I want my dogs to be 100% comfortable nearly 100% of the time. They need to be brave dogs. While Alice has gotten better with training, I don’t think she’ll be able to achieve that level of braveness.
Some people would continue to work a dog with Alice’s level of discomfort. She’s definitely able to still do her work and tasks to help me, she is OK walking on the ground, and she is pretty good while being carried. But she’s not comfortable in all these situations. And her comfort is the top priority to me.
Alice will remain a beloved pet at home. She loves helping me with my anxiety and depression at home, and will continue to lighten Hestia’s load at home by performing those duties. She’ll get outings to parks and outdoor restaurants where she is comfortable. I’ll keep on training her at home as she enjoys that. She just won’t be going out in public as my service dog in training anymore (at least for the foreseeable future—I may re-evaluate in January or so, since she has had ups and downs).
Hestia is 8 years old, and while she is slowing down in her walking speed, I’m now using my chair more so I think she’ll have another couple of years left in her. My breeder is already on the lookout for just the right puppy for me. So I’ll be OK with my service dog needs.
Thank you, Alice, for all the hard work you’ve put in to this point! Now you get to sit back and just enjoy the things you like doing.