Shelter dog becomes service dog while local woman gets service dog training certification

Fast forward to August 2021, and the idea has finally come to fruition.

Kevin Cameron from California was taken to independence camp north of Nipawin for training. Cameron specializes in dog behavior and service dog training after post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

To train with Cameron, Harper needed a dog that was suitable for training service dogs.

A call to the NESPCA Harry and Eve Vickar Shelter brought Harper to Sina.

“The first day was for her to relax and get used to being put in a kennel, which she did well,” said Harper. “The next morning we started training and that Thursday I was a certified trainer and Sina was a service dog.”

After completing the training, Sina was transported to Ontario that Sunday.

“There was a service woman who was planning to fly to Texas to get a service dog, so Sina actually went to see her,” said Harper. “Sina trained with her new owner for a few days, because you not only train the dog, you also have to train the owner.”

According to Harper, Sina and her new owner have been in Ottawa for two weeks and things are going well.

As Harper continues her journey as a service dog trainer, she plans to work with the local SPCAs to find dogs to train.

“I want to do a lot of the Wounded Warriors with veterans, but I will also train other dogs and my own dogs,” said Harper. “A lot of people think they have to get new dogs when looking for service dogs, but that’s not always true.”

She said she also wanted to help raise fundraising service dogs for the Wounded Warriors organization. The Wounded Warriors collect donations for service dogs and pay the adoption fees for Sina.

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On Twitter: @Angie_Rolheiser

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