Yancey Cook permalink
German Shepards are the dogs most used for service situations
Yancey Cook permalink
While the dogs may be cute, it's important not to pet them as it takes their mind off of their duties
The Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs organization held its third annual Passing of the Leash event on Saturday, where disabled owners are officially paired with a service dog to help them with their specific needs.
Brian Duelz, an ex-member of the U.S. military, has dealt with night terrors since he retired in 2006. Up until a couple of months ago, Duelz hadn’t gotten a good night’s sleep. Duelz was paired with Remy, the German Shepard service dog, through the service dog organization,which is based in Williston, Fla.
“My main thing is my nightmares and other things of that nature,” Duelz said. “If I’m starting to have a night terror, Remy will jump up on the bed and start licking me until I wake up or enough to where I get out of that and can go back to sleep.”
The organization trains dogs and pairs them with the mentally and physically disabled. In the short amount of time he’s had Remy, Duelz has noticed a huge change in his ability to sleep.
“(The service dogs) are just phenomenal,” he said. “I probably hadn’t had a good night of sleep since I retired in 2006, or even before then, but two months ago I actually slept for eight full hours.”
Carol Borden, executive director and founder of the Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs, is happy to see all of the new owners and their dogs symbolically walk across the stage at the Passing of the Leash event. According to Borden, it’s difficult to get on the waiting list for a service dog, and the process itself involves a lot of paperwork and background checks.
“We have a very long waiting list, up to four years…” Borden said. “After we have the dog ready for them, the people will join the dogs for training and then they’ll start working together as a team.”
More than 10 owners were officially paired with their service dogs at the event on Saturday, and they all mentioned how much they’re looking forward to this new partnership in their speeches.
Borden said that seeing the owners walk across the stage with their service dogs during the Passing of the Leash event was very gratifying and emotional.
“Our main goal as an organization is to make sure that we try to help better the lives of the people who truly need it,” she said. “I’ve been doing this for three years now and every year all of the personal accounts of the new owners’ lives prior to pairing up with their dog really show me just how much of a difference we’re making.”
A potential ordinance in Tallahassee, which would strictly limit the presence of homeless people in public places, was discussed Friday. Some Gainesville officials are advocating for a more collaborative way to address the issue.
The Gainesville Girls Rock Camp uses music to empower young girls and teens. Girls gain self-confidence throughout the program and learn to encourage each another.
The Alachua County Environmental Protection Department has found unsafe levels of bacteria in Hogtown Creek waters.
Update 7/27/2015 at 7:15 p.m.: The suspect has been identified as Earl Jackson, according to a news release from the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office.
A memorial for Josh Greenberg, the co-founder of music streaming service Grooveshark, was held Friday evening at the Phillips Center. He was found dead in his home July 19.