Meet My Brave Friend

This week I’m introducing you to a beautiful person, inside and out… but more than that, she is brave.  When I saw her video of her most recent accomplishment, tears just ran down my face. 

I had come to know Allie when she attended the National LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Conference in July of 2017.  Her outgoing smile and her engaging personality just drew me to her.  Even though she was in an electric wheel chair, she maneuvered around the 400 people and 100 dogs much better than I did on foot!

Meet Selena Eve

After seeing the video, which you’ll also see in a minute, I contacted Allie’s mom to find out more about this latest adventure in their family.  Here’s what she had to say:

We ended up going through an organization named Honor Service Dogs out of Charlotte, NC. We were in a process with another group, unnamed, for over 2 years prior . They came to the house to do an in-home evaluation and interviewed Allie for at least 3 hours. We thought we were finally getting close to getting the dog when a couple of weeks after that, we got a very short letter in the mail saying that after the evaluation, they determined they couldn’t provide a dog to meet her needs. UGH! It was awful and Allie was devastated. It took me another 2 weeks to get a hold of a person live and needless to say, the conversation was not pleasant. So, we were back to square one.

We started reviewing other service dog groups again but there aren’t many who will attempt to train for seizure awareness which is one of Allie’s needs, although not the primary need. We were referred to Honor Service Dogs and were prepared for another 2+ year process. They immediately fell in love with Allie (go figure) and her story and basically talked us into “get a puppy (8 weeks old) and raise/train it to your service level needs”. I have to admit, I really let them talk me into it when I probably should have stuck to getting a fully-trained one. It is an incredible amount of work and puppies do try your patience … too often! I’m pretty sure I won’t be doing this again lol!

The good news is, Selena will turn 9 months next week and we are starting to see the fruits of our labors (and of our incredible personal puppy trainer). The trainer comes to our house and several times has taken Selena to her house for a week that we call “boot camp” lol. She just had Selena for 10 days and when she brought her home, she texted me to bring Allie outside with her body leash. Ta-Da … time for Allie to walk with Selena. We are so excited that Selena has grown and matured enough to do this. Allie loves working with her every day now. 

Selena has also been working on other tasks that will help Allie live more independently, like picking up things that Allie might drop, bringing things to her (go, get, bring, drop/give command), and lying next to her wheelchair. She will also help Allie open and close doors or drawers as she gets further in her training (baby steps). There is a lot of work still to do, and it definitely is not easy to do, but Allie has the drive, determination and confidence in Selena and herself!.

Selena is a purebred Golden Retriever from a long line of championship bred canines. They provide service dogs, therapy dogs, dogs for veterans and pets for families. Selena Eve was born on Christmas Eve and her mother’s name is Eve. We got her on Valentine’s Day. Allie picked the name Selena because her favorite singer is Selena Gomez. We thought Selena Eve was a nice tribute to that singer, the puppy’s birth day and the puppy’s mother.

To see Allie working with Selena Eve, CLICK HERE

Inspiration!

Did you notice how Allie gave inspiration to Selena Eve to continue to do her work by the words: “Good Girl”?  She said that phrase many times.  Allie inspired me!  If she could work that hard to accomplish something wonderful that some thought couldn’t be done, it motivates me to work hard at tasks that seem difficult for me. I only hope that when I train with my guide dog in early November, that I will persevere like Allie did.  I’ll keep Allie in my heart the whole time as I work with my “partner for life”. 

Little did Allie realize that she would end up inspiring someone else in the nation by her tenacity.  “Good girl, Allie!”

Who is your inspiration?

Kathy

 

 

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