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Help Jessie Fletcher get a Wheelchair accessible House!- Double Amputee Scout/Sniper from 1/6. October 24, 2015

Posted by Chris Mark in Uncategorized.
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JessiePlease consider helping.  Jessie Fletcher is a Scout/Sniper who serve with 1st Battalion, 6th Marines (1/6 for most of us) and was wounded in Iraq when an IED exploded. (he is no longer on active duty but you are always a Marine). He lost both legs above the knee and he and he is in need of a Wheelchair accessible home.  Jessie spent over a year at Walter Reed National Medical Center recovering from his wounds.  If you are moved to donate, please consider donating to the cause OR (if you don’t want to donate) you can buy some badass Bravelets for yourself or your loved ones! $10 from every purchase goes to Jessie’s cause.  These are cool!  This man sacrificed a LOT for us…let’s give a bit back in return!…Even if you can’t donate, let’s help this HOG (affectionate term for Marine Scout/Snipers) get his house by spreading the word.  Many brave warriors have sacrificed for us…the least we can do is try to give a little back when they return.

Dog Training Elite -Dog Training Experts…(Vets..ta ke note!) June 15, 2015

Posted by Chris Mark in Uncategorized.
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DTEMany readers likely know that my son Tyler is Autistic.  He is a great little guy (and handsome!) but we are always concerned for his safety as he is ‘non verbal’.  About six months ago we began looking into service animals.  I have done charity work for several service animal trainers over the years and I was…to be blunt….unimpressed.  The trainers charged between $20,000 and $30,000 and it did not seem effective in many cases.  About 2 months ago we ran across a company called Dog Training Elite in Utah.  Their website advertised over “…35 years of experience..”  For this reason I gave them a call.  I spoke with the owner John for about 30 minutes and he was patient enough to answer all of my questions.  I explained that we had a male Rottweiller (Bo) that we felt would be a good dog but that we were new to he process.

To John’s credit he did not try to sell us on anything.  He simply said he would be willing to drive out to our house in Park City and talk with us.  John came out and it was apparent he had forgotten more about training dogs than I will ever know.  He evaluated Bo and said he would be a good fit for a Service Dog.  To be clear, he also said that in many cases an existing dog is NOT a good fit and often people need to find a dog with the right personality traits to be a good dog.  As John explained…Dogs need two things to really be good Service Dogs.  Aside from having a calm disposition they need 1) a desire to please and 2) intelligence.   Their website says:

“Dog Training Elite, is a Utah-based dog training company with over 35 years of experience that specializes in teaching your dog to be obedient for you as well as the rest of your family, with a strong emphasis on teaching your dog the highest level of obedience, despite even the toughest level of distractions. Our programs are certain to meet all of your training needs. Unlike a lot of other dog training companies, we understand that each client has different needs, so we tailor our training programs to accommodate your unique situation. Dog Training Elite has donated their time to those with special needs in training their service dogs.”

Heather and I used to joke that Bo was untrainable.  He is super sweet and super calm but he is also a 130lb Male Rottweiller. He is stubborn with a capital R..and all other letters.  I am not exagerating when I say that after the first 1 hour session Bo was responding to commands (‘come’, ‘sit’) and by his third session he was ‘heeling’ and ‘sitting at distance’.  Long and short, the methodology works!

I am not going to go into their training methodology because it is proprietary and I don’t want to give bad info.  I will say that the cost of training Bo is 1/10th (you read that correctly) what other trainers charge and it is effective.  Owners are required to work with their dogs at least once per day.  You have homework!

In addition to being expert trainers, John and company were able to explain all of the ins and outs of Service Dogs…the laws, regulations, and other aspects that I was unaware of.  Their experience and insight is invaluable! In addition, you get a very personal touch from people who are not only experienced but truly love and value dogs.  It has been as much as an education for Heather and me as it has been for Bo.

If you are looking for a service dog and you are willing to put some work into the process..I would highly recommend Dog Training Elite.  They are in Utah, Arizona and Nevada.  I understand they are now opening a few new sites in other states. Give them a call and talk to Robin, John or Seth.  Ask a hundred questions and let them give you some info.

In addition to training dogs they also work with Not for Profits and support wounded veterans!  One of their trainers, Seth is a wounded veteran with a Service Animal.  Watching what his Malenoise could do was absolutely impressive!…

If you are looking for a service dog or considering a service animal give them a call!  We are very happy and Bo is doing great!  Hit them up on their Facebook, as well!

Rising Phoenix Equine Rehab – Helping Vets with PTSD August 2, 2014

Posted by Chris Mark in Uncategorized.
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I recently learned of a great charity called Rising Phoenix Equine Rehabilitation Center  that serves two valuable purposes.  First, they help rehabilitate horses and second, they provide horse therapy to veterans with PTSD….free of charge!  If you are so compelled, please take a look at Rising Phoenix and consider donating.

RisingPhoenix

 

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