Daisy: The Hound with the Broken Nose


First time wearing a Stepping Stone vest

Daisy wearing her Stepping Stone vest for the first time.

It goes without saying that when Amanda approached me with thoughts of training her newly adopted 6 month old hound for service work I was much more than skeptical. Hounds are most definitely not at the top of the breed list for service dogs! The obvious reason being the super distracting smell computer at the end of their faces! Although I was skeptical of Daisy’s abilities to be a service dog I was excited at the possibility and challenge of teaching someone to train their own service dog.

Our first meeting was at the mall. I wanted to see Daisy in a public location to assess her body language and her response to the stimuli around her – most likely things she’d never seen before.  It was easy to find Amanda and Daisy; the wheelchair and loud hound bay gave them away. I noticed one thing right away – Daisy wasn’t fearful. The busy public environment wasn’t too much for her. The next thing I noticed was that she rebounded well. That means that when something startled her she quickly regrouped and moved on from it.

Next I turned my attention to Amanda and asked her to tell me about her abilities and challenges.
I was stunned to learn about Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) which basically sounds like torture with no torturer to direct your anger toward.  Yet, the young woman who sat in front of me glowed. I immediately recognized “the light” in her smile. I call “the light” that thing that you see when someone is truly grateful and good. Those people glow. I asked her how she could be smiling with such a debilitating disorder. Her response with an even bigger smile? “What else are you going to do?”




I began telling Amanda  it was unlikely that Daisy would make a good service dog because of her hound nose but Amanda stopped me and said, “Oh, that’s not a problem – Daisy’s nose is broken!”.  And, Daisy nose IS broken! Although we don’t know if she was born with nose malformed or if her nose was injured, it is most defiantly malformed.

It is perfectly imperfect nose!

It is a perfectly imperfect nose!

Between Amanda’s glow and Daisy’s nose – I was hooked.
I asked them to attend the Stepping Stone Life Skills 1 class at no charge so I could continue to assess them.

In this video clip we are working on PPI – Positive Proactive Interaction. I’m teaching Amanda what to do if Daisy sees something that is potentially frightening.
It’s now been almost 4 weeks and I am happy to say that I believe Daisy, the hound with the broken nose has the potential to help a woman with a broken body.

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