Saturday, October 17, 2009

Training Mission Disney

Much of the service dog training Carolina Canines volunteers and staff do is in and around Wilmington, Myrtle Beach or Jacksonville, but occasionally we get an opportunity to take a service dog in training on a different kind of adventure. This time, Service Dog Titus went to Disney!

If you are ever wondering how we know a dog is ready for placement, visiting a high distraction location, like Disney, is one way to fully determine the service dogs abilities. From Hollywood Studios Toy Story to Magic Kingdoms Small World, Disney was full of surprises around almost every corner or curve. Titus, we are pleased to say did wonderful. He readily managed Disney, with the crowds of people, Disney characters, the Celebration Parade including stilt walkers, an evening performance of Cirque du Soleil and the infamous Disney fireworks displays. Titus is a champion.

This year at Disney is the year of celebration, and our friend Merilee ensured that Rick and I were celebrated with a button that announced our marriage. Disney cast members offered their congratulations and well wishes. During the Celebration Parade at Magic Kingdom, nearly every stilt walker came over to us to offer their congratulations and say hello to Titus. The Disney cast is an amazing group of dedicated and concerned people. Highly trained and taking their roles as ambassadors seriously, they frequently asked if our service dog needed water, always asked if they could pet him and offered access to areas where he could be walked. They guided us to ride access and asked if special seating was needed for certain rides. They were attentive without being overbearing.

Taking a service dog to Disney is a valuable experience for the dog because if they can handle this environment, they can handle anything asked of them. We’d welcome the opportunity to have a generous sponsor for a training excursion for each of our service dogs at Disney. Any takers?

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