The life of a service dog is hard. I mean when you see them in public with their handlers everyone thinks, "aw, how sweet. They get to hang out together." But what most people don't realize is how taxing that life is... and how hard it was for them both to get there.
This is a long journey, and as a human, it is often a sad one. Because no matter how well we treat our companions, we will inevitably outlive them. And if we are experienced, we know better than to wait till the last minute to replace them. This will hopefully be where you can find a photo journal of My Hogan's replacement, Joan Watson. Or as we call her, Watson.
I decided to go back to my dog training roots this time and went with a well established working line of German Shepards. So after finding and interviewing the breeder (and being counter interviewed) I decided on Gigante DDR Shepards. No she's no registered with a kennel club and no she's not a show dog of any kind. She is a working dog. And that was exactly what I needed, and was looking for.
The job of an allergy detection dog is 100%, 365 days a year. It is a hard job, that requires a lot of focus and an unsurpassed intelligence. Even police dogs are only on while their handlers are at work. But my dog has to be aware even at home. I've gone into anaphylaxis in my own back yard, and even in my own home when a friend ordered food from Door Dash.
My current dog Hogan, pictured above is a wonderful animal, and I got extremely lucky with him. But as he gets older, I know I need to look to the future. It took me a little over two years to fully train him. So, I am looking towards his retirement with Watson.