Marie's Journey to "Service Dog Status"
Marie started training at 3 1/2 months. First step is house breaking, socialization and then obedience. Training was provided by ADL Service Dogs and the Allende Family who were now the Puppy Raisers.
The Allende family also needed training on how to work with the dog. We added 20 hours of dog training to their busy schedule. Marie and the Allende Family attended group classes and private lessons twice a week. While Marie attended week long boot camps once a month and two days a week with a trainer who provided private lessons. Marie was exposed to public and private outings such as parking lots, sidewalks, outdoor facilities and gradually inside store, malls, restaurants, then finally the airport. Then Marie's training also extended through doctor's visits and karate classes. Marie needed to learn to take elevator/escalators, moving walkways, and every aspect of Allendes lives. Marie even went to Sea World and got on some rides, and then was able to go to the movies with Ilse. She even when to "Arnold Palmers Children' s Hospital" when Ilse was had a seizure. Next,Marie needed to do it all over again this time heeling side by side next to Ilse wheelchair. Her last step would be going to Miami Children’s Hospital to attend Ilses testing for 8 days to complete her certification as a Service Dog. On the evening of April 3 a conference call was made to ABS Home base and it was decided that Maire had passed. When the Allende Family returns home they would receive Maries certification. We were so happy!
After a little celebrating we took Marie back to the hotel. That evening coming out of an elevator, Marie, Lolee, Ada (Ilses sister) and Donna Neff "trainer" were attacked by a larger breed pit-bull. The attack seemed to last forever. But the 5 minutes or so, left Marie devastated. We quickly rushed to the Emergency Hospital 24 hour vet recommended by Dade County k-9 unit. They made a call for us telling them we were on are way.
Marie received excellent care, she had an injection for pain and exam. She was sore over most of her body.
The next morning she was afraid to go out of the hotel room she hide under the bed and would not eat. After a lot of encouraging we were able to get her in the car and took her back to the Miami's Children Hospital. Minutes later she had diarrhea all over the hallway. The Vet was called and she needed medicine. Apparently Marie had developed an infection. Pryer to this Marie never had an accident in the house or in public.
Thank you, for taking the time to learn about this Service Dog Team and their journey to independence!
Donna Neff, ADL Service Dogs, Master Trainer
Ilse is my 11-year-old daughter with cerebral palsy, epilepsy, and visual problems. She was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at birth and epilepsy at the age of four; which is life threatening disease she has battled with for seven years. Lately she has suffered more attacks indicating that the medications prescribed have not been completely successful. On March 13, 2011, she had her most severe upper respiratory failure followed by a brief comatose state which could have cost her her life.