Future Handi’chiens assistance dog, Utwo learns life in society

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Under the watchful eye of Marie from the Handi’chiens association, Utwo and Laurie train. (©CDLM)

If you missed his first appearance at Les Possibles social center, there is no doubt that in the coming months you will cross his path. Utwo (pronounced Youtou) is a young Labrador of a few months. He is welcomed by Laurie, David, and their 20-month-old son. In exactly sixteen months, the puppy will leave for training school to become service dog for the association Handi’dogs. “It’s an approach that has been close to my heart for several years,” explains Laurie. After the information meeting organized in December by the Ceva veterinary laboratory, I spoke at length with my spouse and we embarked on this adventure. I work in the social field and I am aware of disability and differences, it’s an approach that will allow me to go further in my commitment. »

Laurie’s family will therefore be in charge of the socialization of Utwo for sixteen months.

We will have to take it everywhere with us as much as possible. Teach him some basic commands, such as come, sit or lie down. For a month we have one canine training course per week, and after that it will be every fortnight.

As part of her learning about life in society, Utwo will follow Laurie to her work. “For the moment, I take him one afternoon a week to Les Possibles. The reception is very positive. It leads to discussion even among members. »

Utwo (on the left) must also learn not to pull on his tether even to say hello to a congener.
Utwo (on the left) must also learn not to pull on his tether even to say hello to a congener. (©CDLM)

In public places

The social center facilitator will also have to take “her” dog to public places, such as shops or restaurants. “Everyone must welcome him. If some refuse, it will be necessary to explain that in a few years the dog will have to accompany a person with reduced mobility, children with autism spectrum disorders, Down’s syndrome, multiple disabilities, or people with epilepsy, or even be handed over to professionals. of the medical-social sector.

Utwo is not our dog. It will be given to a beneficiary. The separation will undoubtedly be difficult but with the satisfaction that it will be really useful to a person who will really need it.

Tuesday, May 9, for his second course, Utwo is already showing great application. He has a very assured spontaneous “sitting”. Don’t miss an opportunity to impress your host family and be rewarded with a kibble. “Today, he is learning to walk on different surfaces. The most difficult exercise for the two-month-old dog is to stay attentive to the course and not to be distracted by his fellow dogs. “He is used to our dog Mowgli, explains Laurie. They spend a lot of time together. »

For the host family, veterinary expenses, kibble, deworming, everything is covered by the Handi’chiens association. Seven Mayenne families have signed up to foster a service dog. This is the first promotion in Mayenne.

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