Our DD Blogs

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Read our blogs about our Successful Partnered Service Dogs, our Service Dogs in Training, and Meet our Super Puppy Raisers!

Responding to Increased Trauma and Stress

Sherry Steine Ross wrote for The Gazette, “Stress, loneliness, isolation, fear and fatigue are just a few words to describe the effects of 2020 on mental health. Deafinitely Dogs has shifted our program focus and strategies to deal with the effects of COVID19 and how people can help during the holiday season. Deafinitely Dogs had to make the difficult decision to pause training for autism, diabetic and mobility assist service dogs. After COVID invaded our community, the requests for PTSD/psychiatric service dogs and professional facility dogs have skyrocketed. Requests for professional facility dogs have been received from health care professionals,...

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Canine Enrichment

Canine Enrichment

What is canine enrichment? Canine enrichment is providing your dog with the opportunity to improve and enhance their mental state with a range of activities that aim to challenge and exercise their brains. Canine enrichment encourages dogs to problem solve, learn new skills, and become more confident! We love having healthy, happy, confident dogs. Ideas for canine enrichment: Long lasting chews for when you need your dog to entertain themselves for a while. What you’ll need: Kong or other stuffable toy or hollow bone (make sure to use a safe bone), wet dog food OR bone broth, broth of some...

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Keep Your Pets Safe on Valentine’s Day

Keep Your Pets Safe on Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is about showing your appreciation to those that you love… So be sure to keep your pets safe during this time as well! Here are a few things to avoid leaving around your pets to keep your furry family members safe: Xylitol – this is a sugarless sweetener that is in many candies and gums. It is TOXIC to pets. Decorations – discarded ribbons and wrapping paper can be trouble for curious pets. Candles – a romantic dinner can become a fire hazard when pets and candles mix. Flowers – while bouquets are lovely, certain flowers are deadly...

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Cutest Critter Photo Contest WINNERS!

Thank you to everyone who joined our first ever pet photo contest! We had a total of 22 entries and raised $894 dollars with your support!   The top dog winner was Rudy. The prettiest bird was Luna. The pet with the most votes in a week was Kody. The top entrant with multiple dogs went to Ruby, Lily, and Pippa.

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Nick & Emily: Expert Puppy Raisers

Nick & Emily: Expert Puppy Raisers

We call Nick and Emily our “super” puppy raisers. They’ve been raising puppies for Deafinitely Dogs! for more than four years. Emily first learned about Deafinitely Dogs! while at work. We were invited to speak at her office and mentioned we’re looking for people to help raise puppies into service dogs. Emily, who had no experience with dog training at the time, submitted her application that day and she and Nick have never looked back. They are currently training their third service dog for Deafinitely Dogs!. Preparing service puppies Nick and Emily train puppies from about eight weeks old to...

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Animal Healing for the Lincoln Family

Animal Healing for the Lincoln Family

Axel is a husband, father of two children, and a veteran who served three tours of active duty in Afghanistan and Haiti. He also suffers from PTSD. He was partnered with Tucker, a Brittany, to help with his symptoms. Axel is grateful for the flexibility and accommodation that he experienced as he worked together with Deafinitely Dogs! Before meeting Tucker, Axel and his wife, Ashlyn, had been talking with Deafinitely Dogs! about eventually getting a service dog for their young son who was born with a visual impairment. During those conversations, it became apparent that Axel would also benefit from...

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Seeking Liz’s Future Partner

Seeking Liz’s Future Partner

 In 2007, a baby girl was born in a remote part of China. Liz spent the first 18 months of her life in an orphanage. Her albinism (lack of pigmentation) meant that she looked very different from the other children in the orphanage. She didn’t receive the same nurturing and care there, which led to some developmental delays. Liz finds her family Despite the circumstances, Liz’s future parents knew she would complete their family. After six long months of paperwork, Liz arrived in the United States to join her loving family. She finally began receiving the medical care and attention...

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Megan’s Mission for Self-Care

Megan’s Mission for Self-Care

Megan first came to Deafinitely Dogs! when she was in her early 20s and a college student. Suffering from extreme anxiety and depression, Megan had been doing research on service dogs but didn’t feel she would be able to travel to seek help. Then she happened to see a local news story about Deafinitely Dogs! and was thrilled to learn that there was a local service dog organization that could help. When Megan met Epic Megan came to Deafinitely Dogs!, where we followed our usual process. We introduced her to a couple of dogs and let them interact. We let...

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Maddy Finds Relief with Leo

Maddy Finds Relief with Leo

Maddy is a young girl that came to us with obsessive-compulsive tendencies as well as severe anxiety and depression. Despite a great support system from her family and medical staff, her symptoms were debilitating. Her condition affected every aspect of her life. During anxiety attacks, she would exhibit repetitive behaviors that, in turn, caused her to withdraw, lose friends, and miss 122 days of school in one school year. A new approach for Maddy’s care She and her family tried many options, including in-patient and out-patient counseling. Nothing was working. Her doctor said it was the worst level of anxiety...

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SDiT Zach Graduated!

SDiT Zach Graduated!

On November 22nd, Zach graduated from Service Dog in Training to Service Dog and was partnered with his person, Angel. Angel is a veteran who served in the Army National Guard and the Navy; being deployed twice. Zach is now helping Angel live a more independent life! Zach was named after a fallen Eastern Iowa Marine. Click here to check out KCRG’s story and video on the graduation! Do you think a Service Dog will help you live a more independent life? Click here to learn how to apply for a Service Dog.

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Dayton’s Graduation!

Dayton’s Graduation!

On December 7th 2018, Dayton graduated and was partnered with his person, Heather. Heather is our first female veteran, serving in the US Marine Corps, to be placed with a service dog. “It’s great we were able to place our first female veteran. A lot of veterans don’t ask for help especially female veterans. But Heather came to us and we were able to help her and it’s an amazing feeling,” said Sherry, co-founder.   Click here to check out KCRG’s story and video on the graduation! Do you think a Service Dog will help you live a more independent...

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Meet Grace: Ambassador for Deafinitely Dogs!

Meet Grace: Ambassador for Deafinitely Dogs!

A mentor for other puppies As an ambassador dog, Grace advocates for the program and assists in training other puppies but will not be paired with a human. Puppies typically look to more mature dogs to learn how to perform their tasks. Being a very neutral, happy-go-lucky dog, Grace can learn to do tasks and teach new dogs and puppies that are otherwise struggling to learn. Welcoming kids are her special skill While puppies mimic Grace, her skills extend to children who are going through the process of being paired with a service dog. Sometimes these children are apprehensive to...

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