WANTED: Service Dog Trainers & Assistants!

Facility Dog Program Update

      by Mary Skrabucha

In our last newsletter, we reported on the graduation of five new facility dogs, two of whom were owner-trained. We are pleased to let you know that these five teams are all doing well at their sites. We know this because part of our program involves weekly, then monthly visits to each site.
In a nutshell…


    • Bear continues to give bear hugs and spread kindness at the Intrepid Center at Camp Pendleton. He is considered to be one of the staff members. And his professional partner, Angela, has also worked in her spare time with Eileen to generate a list of all the ways that Pawsitive Teams can measure our impact on the greater San Diego community.
    • Duchess had her 3rd birthday, and the students at Helix High School showered her with over 1,000 gifts. These were donated to Pawsitive Teams and the San Diego Humane Society. The work that Duchess does at Helix High was showcased as a front-page article on the local La Mesa paper, including a picture of Duchess with some of her gifts.
    • Sandy is becoming at Pro at navigating all the equipment at FITS (Functional Integrated Therapeutic Services). The Clients enjoy seeing him do the obstacle course. He also is a traveling guy, visiting some of the schools where his professional partner, Mark, provides therapy to the children.
    • Daisy can be seen most days at lunch time, cruising around the quad at Del Norte High School, enjoying all the students’ attention. She is a star, even learning not to look mournfully at the students’ lunches and accepting hugs instead. And she had a birthday too!
    • Charlie is slowly getting used to all the students at Scripps Ranch High School. She really enjoys playing catch with them on one of the upper fields. Her professional partner noted on a recent walk around the field that, for one of the students there, this is the first time he’s participated, all because of Charlie.


Pawsitive Teams started our 2nd Facility Dog Academy in January. Two owners as well as an assistant handler are attending with their dogs. The 3rd Academy term will begin in July and is almost full.
We continue to have Quarterly Facility Dog Team meetings with all the past and present teams. These are important to be able to share what works, what doesn’t, and to mentor, assist and support each other. We recently did a deep dive into how to accurately report impact of this program at each site.

And, of course, we will continue to brag about our program to everyone that will listen!