Our Shelter to Soldier Trainee, 'Plato' is Doing Great!
Thanks to our Plato Wags Back mission, our very own service dog trainee named ‘Plato’ is thriving in his training program with our partner, Shelter to Soldier. Read below to learn more about Plato’s progress from co-founder of Shelter to Soldier, Kyrie Bloem.
“Plato is thriving in our program and has truly discovered his purpose. He has mastered his foundation obedience commands, and is working on his “down stay” or laying down for a longer period of time with heavy distractions before releasing him from the command. Plato’s desire to work, create, and maintain a connection with his handlers has grown tremendously over the last few months. He has developed the ability to sense heightened stress, anxiety and agitation in his handlers and is showing the appropriate behaviors to assist in soothing and calming in those situations. These developments have come sooner than anticipated and we are excited to see what the future holds as he continues his training.
Today, we saw Plato’s training in action, as he bonded with a veteran applicant who was very nervous for his first visit. The veteran has a tough time being out in public after multiple traumatic combat deployments and Plato immediately picked up on his stress. Upon arrival, Plato greeted the Veteran, Graham handed over the leash, and Plato sat between his legs with his chin to the sky while he pet Plato for half an hour. Plato then lay on his feet, connected to the veteran applicant and ‘requested’ more petting and interaction. We could see that Plato’s affection immediately soothed the man’s anxiety and worry about a new place. He kept saying, “Wow, this is incredible.” He later wrote us an email thanking us for our program and said, “whether I get accepted to your program or not, what your team does is amazing and I felt that first thing today with Plato.”
The entire team at STS can’t thank the Plato Pet Treats company enough for believing in our mission, helping us rescue and train Plato and for the endless supply of treats that our dogs are obsessed with! As time passes we gain more confidence in the fact that Plato will graduate our program and truly help change the life of a deserving US veteran for the better. This wouldn’t be a reality without your support!”
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