Behind Every Great Brigadoon Service Dog (2016)
When a Brigadoon dog is matched, it may look as if there is a partnership of 2 graduating. However, behind every Brigadoon dog is a team of people who have contributed to raising and training that dog to be a successful service dog. Here’s a quick look at who makes up that dedicated team:
Breeders, animal shelters, and other dog donors – In order to pair service dogs with recipients, we need the dogs to begin with! Thanks to the generosity of breeders, animal shelters, and others who donate dogs to us, we are able to have dogs to train and place.
Puppy raisers – Puppy raisers are some of our most valuable team members. These volunteers welcome puppies-in-training into their homes and lives. As training and socialization are incorporated into all aspects of the dog’s everyday life (going grocery shopping and learning to ignore food smells, taking a walk to the park and practicing loose leash walking, playing with a ball with the kids while working on “drop it” cues…) the puppy gains a wealth of valuable experience while also benefiting from the loving nurturance of a home environment and family life.
Volunteers – Another valuable type of team members are our volunteers who work to help Brigadoon in other ways. These volunteers might bathe dogs, clean the kennel, take dogs out on socialization outings, do administrative work, sit on our board, help out at events, or even pet puppies! We also have volunteers who have specific skill sets like web page design or home repair and maintenance.
Brigadoon trainers – Brigadoon employs 2 highly skilled trainers to teach the dogs the 60+ cues they must know to become service dogs, along with other skills. In addition to the paid trainers, Brigadoon also has many savvy volunteer trainers who help out lots with training the dogs.
Inmate trainers – Brigadoon also has 2 prison programs, where inmates take on the role of dog trainers. The dogs live full-time with the inmates, who train many of the skills the dog will need to be a service dog, such as turning on lights and picking up objects.
Local services – Having services like veterinarians and groomers are integral to helping keep our dogs healthy and happy.
Donors – Since Brigadoon is a non-profit, we rely on donations from our community to be able to keep our programs running. Thanks to the generous support of individuals, community organizations, and businesses, Brigadoon is able to finance the $30,000+ it costs to train each dog.
Sponsors – One special type of donor we have are sponsors who cover the entire cost of the training program for one client - $10,000 (there are also partial sponsorship opportunities). This means that clients who are unable to fundraise the $10, 000 can still be placed with dogs.
YOU – People like you who read these posts, follow us on social media, come to events, spread Brigadoon’s message to friends and family, and otherwise show support for Brigadoon are so important to keeping us functioning and flourishing. So thank you for being a member of the team!