This is the good part of raising service dogs. Hearing how well they're doing in their forever homes with their forever partners. (For a look at the ugly side of raising a service dog, read my turn-in post…)
I talked to Talos' forever person, Kathy, today about the possibility of us dog-sitting for Big T while she takes care of some medical appointments. (Yeah, never a problem for us to dog-sit that big lug. We're here for him (and her) anytime, no question!)
What I heard about Big T and what he and Kathy are accomplishing made my heart sing.
Talos was trained to be a balance dog. He helps Kathy stay on her feet. You can see the video of their very first meeting and just how he helps her keep her balance here. (It's really something to see!)
Anyway, Kathy said Talos has expanded his job description, all of his own doing. He goes and gets family members when Kathy needs some help — he'll seek out people, one at a time, until someone can come and help her. He also alerts Kathy when it's time to change different medical equipment. Neither of these (monumental) tasks were trained by the service dog agency, these are things that Talos has picked up all by himself.
These minute changes — untrained, mind you — speak to a deep bond between the dog and his person. These are things that Talos just picked up over time, as a result of spending a lot of good, quality time together as partners with Kathy.
Ahhh, after all the heartache and the second-guessing that happens after raising a service dog, it's nice to hear how well the match was made and just how valuable each part of the team is to one another.