Pippa had been in and out of the shelter system since 2014. Pippa is an adult blocky headed pitbull type dog – something that can contribute to a longer length of stay in the shelter. But Pippa had a great personality, and notes from had notes from a prior home that she seemed naturally aware of her former owner’s PTSD and would comfort her owner. With this information, Pippa was placed in the Canine Good Citizen (CGC) Program at APA!. CGC is a certification through the AKC that focuses on a 10-test skill set to build the bond between owner and dog through training.
On August 27, Cara came in looking to adopt a dog that she could hopefully train as a service dog for PTSD. The matchmaking team had a few dogs on the list for her but after hearing about her hopes for her new dog, they realized they had a great match and introduced her to Pippa. After spending some time together Cara knew it was a great match and Cara took her home that day!
Within a few days, Cara reached out to schedule a training session to continue Pippa’s CGC training through APA!. At APA!, we train our resident CGC dogs towards being able to pass the 10 tests of the CGC but do not actually certify them until they are adopted. Once they have been adopted, we encourage their adopters to come in and learn all of the skills that we have been working on with their dogs. We also have a CGC Evaluator on staff that can certify their dogs once they have mastered the 10 tests. On October 23, after a few training sessions, Pippa passed her Canine Good Citizen Certification at APA!.
A few weeks ago, Cara reached out to update us on Pippa’s progress. Cara has continued working on Pippa’s training with a private trainer and we were very excited to hear that the had passed her service animal public access test! She is now working on her service dog task training and will be learning certain tasks specific to Cara’s needs.
Pippa is a true shelter dog to service dog success story. She may not fall into the norms of appearance or other qualities that most people think of when they think of service animal, but Pippa’s love for her person has made her the perfect service animal. The bond between Pippa and Cara is truly moving to witness and we at APA! could not be happier for Pippa in her forever home.