At Ease Men - Service dog is blessing for veteran
By Caitlin Bauer
David Stemmerich's dog Sarge is more than a faithful companion: He's a lifeline.
Stemmerich took Sarge to Misty Pines Dog Park in Sewickley for a few months' worth of obedience classes before the trainer told him about Freedom Guide Dogs.
"He's a post-traumatic stress dog; he's not had guide dog training," Loori said. "What he does is give moral support to his handler so that he can be out in the community."
"Instead of focusing on the crowds and the stress of being in public, he's focused on Sarge..."
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“Sarge” – A Local Veteran’s Lifeline
By Brad Rapp
Having served two tours of duty in Iraq, one with the 82nd Airborne and the other with the Army’s 2nd Infantry Division as well as a tour in Korea, Dave Stemmerich of Parker has seen first hand what the casualties of war can bring. His foot prints in the sand, although long blown over, have been possibly forever etched in his mind...
Part of Dave’s success is currently in the making. Thanks to Dave’s wife Stephanie, they were able to learn about a nonprofit company known as Freedom Guide Dogs. In fact, it was thanks to Jeff Woods the Founder and President of Misty Pines Dog Park Company of Sewickley where the Stemmerich’s were made aware of the services of Freedom Guide Dogs. It was at Misty Pines Dog Park in Sewickley where “Sarge” the family’s young German Short Hair Pointer, received his initial obedience training to prepare Sarge for his service dog training.
Freedom Guide Dogs is a non profit organization based in Cassville, New York, which breeds, raises, trains and places guide dogs with the blind through a distinctive program called Hometown TrainingTM. Freedom Guide Dog's service is available to people in the Northeastern United States at no cost.
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Patty earned her CD title on Oct 25th. Additionally, she earned her TDIA (Therapy Dogs International Active working title) for completing 50 visits to St. Barnabas Nursing Home in Gibsonia. Patty accomplished these goals within a week of her one year anniversary of coming to live with me and my labs. She is nine years old. It just goes to show you can definitely teach an old dog new tricks. Misty Pines was instrumental in helping me get Patty ready for her TDI test as well as giving us plenty of opportunity to practice our 'stay' exercises for the obedience ring.
Thanks to Jeff, Brett, Aimee and staff for their support in our training endeavors.
I have been using this facility for about 15 years. I have used it for obedience training but most of all for field dog training. When I first went there I was very impressed at how clean it was. All the staff are very helpful and professional.
via ~ www.zootoo.com
I just wanted to let you know how very much I enjoyed the Puppy orientation on Wednesday. It was very informative and fun for my puppy, Shiva I look forward to the Puppy Classes
I would like to say that I was very impressed with your facility how the classes are conducted. but more importantly, it seemed to me that my dog as well as all of the other dogs of those at Orientation are a priority. I look forward to bringing my dog to class.
Many things that you discussed made me feel that I was doing things well with my new addition. It has been 10 years since having a puppy in the house and one "forgets" some of the puppy issues.
My recently departed dog and I had a terrible experience with a so called "expert" in dog training and I was very gun shy about bringing my new puppy to a training facility.
Thank you for a very positive enlightening evening and I look forward to bringing my puppy to class.
- Debbie and Ryker
Misha's doing great with her training. She's really a different dog with the collar on. Had a tow truck come for our car and a dog walk by at the same time and she didn't move from her stay! Great distractions!
- Judy ('92)
We went to the Orientation class Wednesday and can not wait until we can bring Ginger in for training on a Saturday! Please add us to your e-mail list, we hope to stay on top of your scheduled classes. We are seriously considering the kids's training sessions, because we think the kids need more training than Ginger;-)
Jeff's presentation was great. It was amazing to see such a variety of "un-trained" dogs do as well as they did just for an orientation session.
- The Hayes'
I just wanted to tell you that Bill and I were at the nuisance class yesterday and already we are seeing the benefits of it. Isabella is really starting to listen to us! I can't believe it! We're extremely pleased with the class! Thanks again-now I understand that training is not only for the dogs, but for the dog's owners as well.
I attended the orientation last night and again enjoyed it. I didn't realize how much I had forgotten since I had attended with Blanche. Cordelia and I look forward to the puppy classes and socializing with the other dogs and your staff members. I think you run a great facility and once again look forward to our visits.
We want to thank you for your support, limitless patience and guidance with Chief this year. You all know I asked a thousand question and I will in the future. We thank you for your understanding.
- Randy, Sue, Chief and Chubs
It's been so much fun these past few weeks being involved in the many programs here at Misty Pines. Your dedication to pets is evident in everything you do, even in the appearance of the grounds. And the way you reach out to the owners through the website and the information in the classes is helpful and welcome.
This is now my third "generation" of dogs with Misty Pines. I will always be thankful for the way you cared for Bailey in her elder years, especially, and I look forward to raising my new friend to be "Truly" The world's best dog!
Thank you so much for all the help. Without your guidance and faith, my confidence never would have been at a level high enough to train Oola. And this whole incident pointed out that whatever is going on in the trainer's head determines whether the dog succeeds or fails to be trained.
I wanted to take this time to thank all of you for everything you do. Not only for the dogs, but for the dog parents.
I have learned so much through all of you. When I got the dogs last year, I basically had no clue what to do with a dog. I have learned so much from Misty Pines, and I feel much more comfortable being a doggie mommy. I know there is still a lot to learn, but I'm not terrified anymore.
Mel has been a wonderful dog, and is so great at his volunteer work. The folks at the nursing home love him, as well as the children who read to him (he is a good listener). And at 9 years old, he shows that older dogs can learn
And Tessie has come such a long way this year! I credit it to you. All of you have been so great with her, and have made it a point to help with her socialization. When she goes up to someone, or allows someone to per her, I am so grateful to your continued efforts. (I still have hope that Tessie will someday advance beyond the Starter class, if little-miss-energy can stay put long enough for a 3 minute down stay. And pass a therapy dog test so she can go to nursing homes as well.)
I also want to thank you for all of the socials you put on for dogs and owners. I love doing things with my dogs, so I appreciate the opportunities you provide.
And I never worry about leaving the dogs in the kennel. I think they both like it (and it gives them a break from school and work and other things I make them do).
We are going to miss all of you so much when we move. But we're ready for the next phase of our life, when we adopt a couple of kids. I think both dogs will enjoy having children in the house to play with. And the new house has a big yard and an in-ground pool. I'll be curious if the dogs will go swimming next summer.
I still have family out here, so when we come to visit, we'll stop by for class. (And I'll bring you some good stuff from Philly.)
All our love,
- Cheryl, Mel, and Tessie
Thanks for being there for Jack when he needed a lot of training. But most important. Thanks for your patience and understanding.
Alan and Barb