Meet Sarah, PADS Volunteer Puppy-Raiser in the Okanagan Region.
Over her years at PADS Sarah has grown not only in knowledge about dog training but also in confidence. Keep reading to find out how the PADS Pups in her life has encouraged her and built her confidence:
“When I initially got involved with PADS I was told that having a dog with you all the time in public was like walking in a parade waving a bright flag. People are going to look at you and talk both to you and about you. As a fairly reserved person I wasn’t sure how I would react to strangers coming up to me in public but I soon learned that the dogs were a magnet to interesting people and stories.
I have met people who raised dogs for other schools, people who know someone that is waiting for a service dog or received one. I even got the opportunity to talk to a gentleman in the line up waiting for the ferry in Victoria who turned out to be an Advanced Sitter for PADS. Two years later he ended up being the Advanced Sitter for the very puppy I met him with.”
At first I wasn’t very comfortable with people just walking up and talking to me. However, during my almost 4 years with PADS I’ve found one of the biggest impacts is how much more confident I am as a person going out and about in the community with my caped sidekick by my side. I find that I can spend ages talking about PADS and the impact the dogs make in the lives of those around them. I enjoy answering people’s questions and helping them understand more about service dogs in general. It’s now to the point that during those rare occasions when I don’t have a puppy with me, people will come and ask where the dog is.
As I get ready for puppy number 3 in the not to distant future I find that I am looking forward once again to having my little people magnet with me, hearing people’s stories and answering more questions (at a Covid Appropriate distance of course).