Spring Training

Returning to Palm Beach

Published in: Update - Issue 2 - 2012 »    Listen to Article ♫
Spring Training Class of 2012

The Spring Training 2012 class included (L to R)
Gracie Jackson & Cricket, Charity Roach &
Chara, Rondal Love & Zeus, Judith St. Clair &
Major, Ann Drake & Driver, and Daniela Rubio
Trujillo & Kara.

In February, six Leader Dog clients attended our 2nd Annual "Spring Training" in Palm Beach, Florida. One of those clients was Rondal Love, who sent the following update on the progress he and Leader Dog Zeus were making a few weeks after they returned home.

Zeus and I are as fine as wine and getting better with age!

Settling into our home environment has been surprisingly easy. Zeus is a perfect canine gentleman everywhere we go. The only time we've run into issues is when people try to pet him—his inner-puppy emerges and he gets excited. So, I give him guidance to calm him down. This is something that I am confident we will conquer together.

Instructors Jamie Togal and Randy Horn were amazing to work with in Palm Beach. Jamie was especially patient and understanding with me when I found myself standing at the top of a flight of stairs. I was shaking, tearing up and determined that there was no way that I was going down those stairs. (With the sight I have left, it looked almost like a straight drop off with no bottom). Jamie was calm and steady, and talked me through it. Even though Zeus was keen to my anxiety, it seemed to make him more determined to carefully guide me down safely. Once at the bottom, Jamie said it was a breakthrough that was worth more than 20 practice walks combined!

Rondal training with Leader Dog Zeus and Instructor Jamie Togal

Rondal praises Zeus for stopping at the curb
while training with Instructor Jamie Togal.

As a result, Zeus and I recently went to a friend's condominium to attend a "We are acting rich even though we're broke" wine tasting. They live on the second floor. For the past several years I made up excuses to not go out of fear of having to go down those stairs. But with Zeus, it was just one foot in front of the other. I can breathe easily with him by my side.

I can't express in words how truly appreciative I am for everything you have done for me.