The Pawsitive Impact of Luna The Service Dog

Mar 26,2024

The service training course has been immensely helpful. I had used a variety of course work found online to train my dog to work with my son who has panic attacks and dysregulated behavior. However, taking the course has given Luna a lot more consistency in delivering care, and now that Luna has been working in my school counseling office for 2 years, she is really solidifying all of the training given to her before starting the course. I am excited to continue and train her to do room sweeps (PTSD training) and get very adept at listening to others aside from me.

This is important in the school counseling environment where Luna needs to follow commands from my other counselors as well. I have taken this course as part of a pilot program at our school, the International School nido de Aguilas in Santiago Chile. As the top international school in South America, there is a lot of academic pressure on students, many with anxiety and panic struggles, neuro-diverse students who need help, and also students with language barriers where a dog’s presence is all that is needed. I have seen the AMAZING work a dog can do for student, parent, and staff rapport. A tense meeting is immediately calmed with a service animal. Now that Luna has more training, the quick and confident nature of her responses to my commands (and the commands now of my counseling team) is more impressive to parents and students, and now can easily distinguish herself from the other 3 dogs (companion animals) we have at school. I have a vest that I use for our worker dogs, but now Luna will wear her Certified Psychiatric Service dog training vest with her documents too, so that I can educate our community on the difference between the two types of dogs we have (one where their mere presence is designed to be therapeutic - and Luna - who is trained and now certified to do specific actions that are therapeutic given specific commands).

I have given this information to the school administration and we are enthusiastic about using this course for our other dogs as well. This course was referred to our team by the psychiatric department of Clinica Alemana (the best teaching hospital in Chile) and this has much respect in our community. I have also gotten my school to approve the next level of courses for airports, as I want to bring Luna to a school counselor educators conference and present.

Note: If you are interested in learning more about how therapy dogs and service dogs can help people in Chile, please refer to the “Paws for Pawsitivity” program and the International School Nido De Aguilas.