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I’d like to start out by saying that I’m very appreciative of Genesis Assistance Dogs, Inc. pairing me with Finn. Finn is my first trained service dog. At one time I had a chocolate lab (for 14 years) whom I tried to train as a service dog myself. I don’t recommend that. Although a great dog, he did not offer the support that Finn is able to provide to me. Genesis not only provided training for Finn, but they “trained me” as it was crucial in establishing a successful bond and working relationship. This has proven to be vital to me during this pandemic. While Finn’s official title is Assistance Dog, I was so very surprised by the emotional aspect of having him with me during the pandemic. Finn has made it possible to endure living alone through a year of mostly complete isolation. Finn and I are side by side day and night. He came into my life at the perfect time and the pandemic has given us time to train and become a team.
I learned so much, acquired new skills and thoroughly enjoyed working with the trainer. The training that Finn received by his puppy raisers and the organizations trainer before coming to live with me has proven to be invaluable! The process of training me to effectively cohabitate with Finn and work together has been priceless as well. Working with the whole Genesis team has been an amazing experience. The support provided has exceeded well past my expectations. Charlie Eagle has been a tremendous support along with trainer, Jennifer Bielen in making sure that Finn is able to provide consistent service, love, and companionship, but also in making sure Finn is properly taken care of from diet and nutrition to exercise, veterinary care and grooming. I’m very proud to have been chosen to pair with Finn as my service assistance dog by Genesis Assistance Dogs, Inc.
As I said earlier, Finn is with me day and night. Finn and I get up in the morning at the same time (whether I get up early or late, that’s when Finn gets up). We both eat breakfast and go outside for a quick walk. When returning Finn will help me pick up things that I’ve dropped during the night such as clothes, medication bottles – whatever may be on the floor. I do have a caregiver that comes to assist me with showering and dressing. While this is happening, Finn lays off to the side in the bathroom until I’m ready to get out and start the day.
Finn walks alongside me and provides assistance as I require it. With my command he will greet and say hi to people we meet along the way. If I venture off the property in my truck Finn accompanies me. He’s right beside me to pick up my phone which I usually drop more than once a day. If I stop somewhere to eat, Finn is with me and well behaved; he’s almost a celebrity. I don’t know how many pictures have been taken with people that stop along the way to say hi to Finn (and sometimes me). Service dog is a great career for him! I am grateful for him and I think he could’ve been a celebrity show dog and possibly been in movies. We do visit parks and make time to play. My big wish is for this pandemic to come to an end so that we will be able to venture out more and be able to appreciate doing fun things together.
I recently had my first vaccination, and Finn was with me as always. The woman that gave me the injection was crazy about Finn, and the other workers were completely smitten by him. Many pictures were taken by passersby admiring Finn’s presence and great behavior. I’ve been told numerous times what a well-trained dog he is. I must admit I take pride in noticing other dog owners’ expressions of jealousy; wishing their dogs were as well-behaved and helpful as Finn has proven to be.
I’m very proud to be part of the Genesis story. My dream would be that more people find the Genesis difference in their approach to training the best assistance dogs in the state! I’ve been welcomed into the Genesis family with open arms and it is truly remarkable.
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