Factor is a service dog for therapy and I am an able bodied Occupational Therapist. Sometimes, this is confusing to people when we are out in public. They think that Factor is in training to go work with someone else. He has been trained as a service dog for therapy and he goes to work with me everyday. I work at Family Achievement Center in Woodbury, MN with children who have a variety of developmental delays, in an outpatient clinic that offers occupational, physical, and speech therapy.
Factor received his service dog training at NEADS/Canines for Disabled Kids in Princeton, MA. Factor knows all his basic obedience commands along with service dog commands – to turn on and off lights, open doors, push buttons, fetch large and small objects, along with a few tricks. Factor can push a large therapy ball back to a client that has tossed it to me, he knows how to crawl, he can ‘take a nap’ and ‘wake up’ upon command, he can ‘speak,’ and if we are putting together a puzzle, he can carry an envelope holding a piece to a child and then come back to me for more pieces. Factor is a comfort to the sad, nervous, or scared child. Factor is a motivator to the children who come to therapy multiple days a week. Factor shares his unconditional love with all, and has many best friends in one day.
Being that Factor is a service dog, he is strongly bonded to me and likes to be with me at all times. He is excited to go to work in the morning and to go home at the end of the day to play with his toys. Factor has brought so much joy into all the lives that he encounters each and everyday. I have been told on more than one occasion that he is a gift from above and I know each day, that is true by the looks in the children’s eyes. This gift would not have been possible without the support of donors to Canines for Disabled Kids and NEADS. Thank you.