Making a Difference:
The Story of Arin and Posie
Most people would agree that service dogs and their handlers enjoy a bond of love and connection that only they can fully understand. It’s also common knowledge that service dogs change the lives of their handlers. But not every service dog team makes a difference in the lives of others in their community, and brings joy to dogs across the country, but Arin Wucherer and her (retired) service dog Posie, do just that.
Brilliant Business Owner
Arin is a young entrepreneur and the owner of Arin’s Good Girl (AKA Posie)Dog Treats. This non-profit, inspired by Posie and Arin’s love of baking her dog treats, has two missions. The first is to create delicious and healthy treats that all dogs can enjoy. The second is to grow the non-profit to employ others with different abilities so they can act
on their passions, giving them independence, resilience and purpose. Being independent and able to make her own
living is important for Arin who was born with Microcephaly. This rare neurological condition has resulted in Arin’s intellectual disabilities as well as challenges with speech and movement. But being differently abled hasn’t stopped Arin who has turned her roadblocks into springboards, setting in motion a plan to use her life to benefit others who are also differently abled. And it all began with love for a very special service dog named Posie.
Spectacular Service Dog
Twelve years ago Posie, a golden Labrador retriever, came into Arin’s life with the help of a scholarship from Canines for Disabled Kids. Canines for Disabled Kids was also instrumental in helping Arin’s parents pick the service dog training organization that trained Posie. Talia Wurcherer (Arin’s mother) says that CDK also provided guidance in what to look for in service dog trainers. Having seen many variations in the skills of service dogs over the years, Talia says CDK’s advice was the best she was ever given. Not all service dogs are equally trained, and it is the training that makes all of the difference. Uneven terrain can be a problem for Arin making her more likely to fall and become seriously injured. One of Posie’s main tasks was to slow Arin down when walking, giving her stability and balance and the time to navigate changing elevations. In addition to helping Arin with mobility, Posie has also
enhanced Arin’s communication and dealing with the public, both crucial skills for a young business owner.
Canine Conversation Starter
In addition to using her voice and sign language, an Augmentative (or Alternate) Communication device helps Arin when talking to others. But with her smaller size and communication challenges, interactions with the public were still a challenge. But when Posie came into Arin’s life, that all changed. Posie helped break the ice and made it
easier for people to interact with Arin. Because Arin loves people and is full of personality, this was another gift and blessing to Arin and her family. While there were some challenges early in their pairing as a service dog tripod, Arin, Posie and Talia soon mastered how to navigate narrow public spaces. Posie enriched Arin’s family in several ways: knowing that Posie would keep Arin safe while walking and bringing them together as a family working in the dog treat business.
While Posie isn’t officially Arin’s service dog anymore, she remains the inspiration for the business and is an all-star treat tester. Her unconditional love and support gives Arin the confidence to run her business. In this way, both Arin and Posie are a force for good in the lives of others. With community partners selling their products and plans to expand the non-profit, Arin hopes to employ others with different abilities, giving them hope and possibility. These individuals, like Arin, have so much to offer and just need a place to shine.
By Janis D. Gioia, MAEd.
Janis Gioia is an author and content creator who writes for organizations
supporting children and adults with disabilities and mental health challenges. Her
website, https://www.comfortinganxiouschildren.com shares resources to help
children with anxiety and autism spectrum disorders.
Arin’s Good Girl Dog Treats was established in 2020, inspired by Arin’s love for baking dog treats for her service dog, Posie. Arin has Microcephaly, an intellectual disability, and individuals like Arin have limited resources to showcase their potential to be integral members of society. Our mission is to show that people with different abilities can act on their passions to positively impact the communities they are a part of.
Arin has an infectious personality, an endless love for animals, and loves making people smile! Arin is passionate about being able to earn her own living and run her own business. Through hard work, Arin has learned to bake, dehydrate, package, and sell three different dog treat recipes- and she’s just getting started!
She has established community partnerships to sell her treats and hopes to expand the business, employing other people with different abilities as the business grows.
To Support Arin visit her business here – https://www.arinsgoodgirldogtreat.com/