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A dog’s purpose

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Alexandra Padilla and Enzo. Photo by Adrian Martino

Alexandra Padilla’s cardiologist recommended that she have a service dog so that she could have a little more independence, and make it easier for her to do things on her own. 

Padilla was matched with Enzo, a Golden Retriever medical alert service dog, in late March. Since then, she has come to visit him at least once a month. 

“Our bond got really strong now,” Padilla said. 

Padilla is in the transfer process. In this process, the trainer will work with the owner so they understand and are comfortable having the dog perform all of the tasks taught. The transfer process will last anywhere from five days to one week depending on the dog, owner, tasks, and more. For the transfer, the owner has the option to travel to Doggie Do Good facility, or they can send a trainer to the owner’s home. 

Doggie Do Good and Doggie Does Good are the same in-home environment located in Arroyo Grande. At Doggie Do Good, Inc., each service dog is trained to perform tasks specific to the owner. To match the right dog to the right owner, Doggie Do Good does temperament testing. 

“Temperament testing consists in finding a dog that is easygoing,” said Sandy Sandberg, Dog Do Good founder and CEO. “A dog that says how can I serve you? What can I do for you?” 

Sandy Sandberg and Doggie Do Good team. Photo by Adrian Martino

There are different kinds of service dogs. Stability dogs are dogs who will assist people with some kind of a mobility issue. 

“We find dogs that like to pick up items, that want to go get things, also more sturdy, more outgoing,” Sandberg said.

For someone that might have a quieter lifestyle, PTSD or they need a dog to do nighttime alerts, they look for dogs that are more mellow and also very sensitive to the person’s needs.

“If someone has autism, they might need a calmer dog,” Sandberg said.

Doggie Do Good offers a lifetime training guarantee. The training guarantee states that for the rest of the dog’s life the owner will have access to them over the phone and via email regarding any questions and concerns. The owner will also have free, one hour-long private lessons at our Doggie Do Good facility. This training guarantee covers anything the dog learned at Doggie Do Good.

“Enzo alerts me to my blood pressure,” Padilla said. “He is letting me know two to three minutes before I start feeling any symptoms, so then I can sit down. He will stay by my side until I start to feel better, and he will not let me get up either.” 

Stability dog training at Doggie Do Good. Photo by Adrian Martino

Because there are so many different tasks Doggie do Good can train a service dog to do, the cost of the training is dependent on the tasks taught and the difficulty of those tasks.

“Go through the proper channels to get the right dog so that the dog is performing the tasks, not only when it’s going out in the public or when it’s at home, whatever settings it’s in, but it is having manners and also making sure it’s keeping the public safe,” Sandberg said.

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA, 1990) a dog is considered a Service Dog if it has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability.  These dogs are more than just pets; they are companions, and often lifelines. A service dog will provide safety, confidence, independence, and companionship to its owner.

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