Most of you know that we have been working towards getting my daughter a service dog for quite a while. She was even matched with a dog (Bella) from an un-named organization. Things have not been feeling quite right to us for some time, so after much soul searching and talking we withdrew our daughter from the program.
The organization had stopped sending us any updates. No pictures, nor any real training updates. When we would ask, they said they were too busy, but maybe later...
As I began to get more frustrated with the lack of communication, we began looking deeper. We couldn't find any previous "matches" to talk with. It turns out we would be their very first attempt at a service animal, even though their website portrays them as having done this many times.
I then contacted Siberian Husky breeders in several midwest states to see if they were even legitimate and found out that other breeders had not heard of them. However every single breeder and rescue organization who wrote me back, expressed serious concern about a very young husky being a service dog for a child. That got me looking even further, so I contacted several long standing service dog organizations and they all expressed concern about the breed choice and age of Bella also. One SD organization here in WA even found out after looking at the organizations website, that they had violated their copyrights by copying information word for word from them. At that point, the red flags were just too much for us.
I no longer felt comfortable that this was the right match for us. That left us in a quandary.
There were two different paths we could follow to our goal, one was to get back on wait lists for a fully trained service dog and hope for a better match (and at a cost of $13,500), or the second option was to find a suitable dog with the help of the Humane Society and take the dog ourselves through basic/advanced/CGC training, then to Seattle Service Dog Academy (cost of approx $5000).
We spent Tuesday at the Kitsap Humane Society, interacting with a 2 year chocolate lab they thought was the right blend of smart, eager to learn and right temperament. After playing for 30 minutes, Faith looked at her and said "You are my dog. You are Daisy. You will be mine." So the route we will be going is basic/advanced obedience training, followed by CGC then over to Seattle Service Dog Academy. This is not the "easy" route, since it puts much more stress on us as a family to begin with, but it is the right one. Thank you to the Kitsap Humane Society for for helping, and understanding. You are amazing.
Without further ado.....Meet Daisy!