Operation Delta Dog
Class: 2013 Winter Accelerator
Operation Delta Dog is a nonprofit organization with a mission to rescue shelter dogs and train them to work as service dogs for U.S. military veterans who suffer from PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) and TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury). The dogs get the homes they need, and the veterans get the help they deserve!
February 11, 2013
Just returned from a wonderful week in Walt Disney World, where I was surprised and happy to notice that service dogs have designated “break” spots in each park. You had to search for them, but they were there! The first one I saw was tucked away behind Space Mountain in the Magic Kingdom… It was a well-landscaped little grassy area surrounded by a quaint fence. (Apparently, even dogs get the “magical” treatment at Disney!) A sign indicated that it was set aside for service dogs. I did encounter one service animal during the week: a seizure-alert dog that was walking along with its owner and taking in all the sights. Very cute.
I also learned a thing or two about animal training while in the Animal Kingdom park. I took my kids to an animal-encounter show, where we had a great time watching a trained skunk and a trained porcupine (yes, you read that right) perform a series of behaviors. The trainers explained that they use the positive-reinforcement clicker-training method, which is the same method we plan to use at Operation Canine. She also explained exactly how it works and how they trained each animal to do particular tricks. The show made me feel less intimidated by the process… If they can make a skunk roll a plastic bottle with its feet, surely we can train a dog to flip a light switch!