How This Project Began
I think for a lot of people when you become an adult, you tend to loose that sense for the potential of heroism, or the belief in the impossible. Well, I had that feeling refreshed for me by the trainers at Green Collar K9, of Greensboro, NC. I feel like a kid who got their big Christmas wish sometimes. And I know there are many others who are about to gain that same emotion.
Red Labrador, Dakota
I wrote a letter to 20 elite K9 trainers around the United States asking them to attempt to train the first U.S. based gluten-sniffing dogs. As far as I had researched I could only ever discover one such publicized dog. It was from Slovenia but I couldn’t track down any further information about the dog, or who trained it, or the techniques they employed.
I needed this dog for my son. I felt it strongly, and I believed it could be done. The slightest bit of Gluten makes him choke, and my family was exhausted from the fear.
Of the 20 groups I contacted, two replied. One wrote me, “Sorry — we don’t do that.” 18 others denied us a reply. And then there was Rick Ball, and his wife Teresa, of Green Collar K9 who said, “We’re always up for a challenge. It would be an honor to train a dog for your son.”
These people have done the impossible and now have a team of gluten-sniffing dogs that can help keep others safe, like my son. They did this with no promise of reward, just the goodness of their hearts. And, as with things like this it has spiraled and we’re now hoping to share these amazing dogs with people who need them, through the new non-profit, Celiac Service Dogs, inc.
The Application Process
This grassroots campaign is picking up speed and with Green Collar K9 behind us I can only imagine how many people we will touch with these amazing animals. We are finalizing our adoption process currently, and expect to be open to placing dogs by the 1st of January, 2012.
There is an incredible amount of time put into training the dogs, and all that time is unavoidably expensive. The hope for Celiac Service Dogs, Inc. is to obtain funds and donations from the public and corporations so we can place the dogs with the most needy free of charge. We require $14,000 for the purchase of each trained dog. If you can afford the full fee, you’re welcome to contact us as a private payee client. Celicac Service Dogs is a non-profit corporation and we’re applying for tax-exempt status. We are also obtaining the dogs from a separate party, the amazing professional trainers at Green Collar K9.
The quality of the training and time involved just makes this process expensive unfortunately. I suggest, until we have funds for granting dogs that perhaps you might consider holding your own fundraiser!
Each dog is tailored to the needs of the handler and their living environment. We also believe strongly in the importance of the intangible bond between handler and service animal. Its imperative for the process to succeed. Matching handler and dog is perhaps the most important part, so a trip to North Carolina is a part of this process. Each handler will be trained on how to keep the dogs sharp and well behaved also.
There will be more information soon regarding the adoption process, but we are accepting a waiting list now. Please email us to be added to the waiting list: email@example.com.
The First Dog is in Action
I’d like to introduce you all to Yeager. He’s currently the first American bred and trained Celiac Service dog. He is still green and teaching us so much abut this process everyday. He’s recently integrated from a training facility into our family. His training continues in a real-world environment now, and Yeager is not disappointing anyone. These dogs can and will help countless numbers of people but right now he’s doing a fine job of assisting one little boy, and his very relieved mother.
Black Labrador, Yeager
There are four other dogs currently able to continue training in their final environments if we can match them with the right people who are willing to learn handling and the skills needed to keep the dogs sharp.