Tim and Josie
When I was introduced to my dog the first time, I heard that she was generally stubborn and that other vets had not remained with her through the end of training. I was not afraid, per se, but I was concerned about her past experience and the “stubborn” nature of her personality. It was not as bad as I thought it might be, and Josie and I got along very well. There are times when her “stubborn” side comes out and she is difficult to train or performs poorly, but Leslie and Jena were a huge help in getting over that. It turned out that Josie needs a lot of physical exertion to keep her focused, and we devised a strategy to work her out hard before training. That made all the difference, and she passed her skills tests well. I love my dog, no doubt about it. My life now is so much better because of the love I have for Josie and the time we spend overcoming my challenges. Has my life changed for the better because of Josie? Absolutely. I’m very proud of what we have achieved together - it was tough but oh, so worth it!
This program is like anything else in life: you get out what you put into it. If you bust your tail and work with your pup patiently and persistently, the program is rewarding like nothing else you can find. But if you are unwilling to put the time in or let your dog run you into the ground, you will be miserable or may just want to give up. I firmly believe in the SBF program and the benefits that the program provides, but you have to want it bad enough to get through the tough hours and days and persevere. You can’t “mail it in” or fake it with SBF - the program is tough and will expose you if you’re lazy or don’t want a service dog badly enough. But if you pour yourself into it, you will get a remarkable sense of pride and teamwork with your new companion like no other. So make up your mind and be determined to go for it!