Jennifer Lang and Nala's Story: Shelter Dog Learns to be a Service Dog

         Let me start out by saying how phenomenally grateful I am for FOPAS and all the animal rescue organizations that participated in last weekend's adoption fair! All the animals looked so happy and healthy. It's easy to see the love and dedication that you put into each and every fur baby. I was in need of a dog that could be trained as a service companion for PTSD. I had a fairly specific idea of what I was looking for - black lab, 1-2 years old, docile and ready to be trained - and, on the advice of a friend, went to check out the adoption fair, and there she was! Nala, a 2 year old black lab mix, was just sitting there quietly, waiting to rescue me.

          I brought her home Saturday afternoon and, by that evening, we had the basic commands down and had fallen head over heals in love with each other. She took to the service vest immediately and responded beautifully to our trips together in the car. Our first working adventure was to RenFest on Sunday and I was a bit apprehensive but she did her work as if she had already been trained! She instinctively knew exactly what I needed and when I needed it and, because of her, I was able to stay at the fair and enjoy the time with my family for five full hours - something I never would have been able to do without her.

          She is eager to please and learns very quickly. After just a few hours of training at a task, she responds beautifully to just about anything she is required to do. At night, she waits for me to get into bed, sniffs and says good night, and all I have to say is "Go to bed" and she crawls into her crate where she sleeps - and snores - all night.

          After just a few days of training her to respond to the alarm clock, she now comes to wake me as soon as she hears it ring. Yesterday, she woke me three minutes early!! When I have nightmares, she comes to me and wakes me, cuddling until I can go back to sleep. When I begin to panic, she jumps up in my lap and presses me to ground me before I even know that I am spinning out, and stops the crisis in its tracks. When I start to 'zone out' she nudges me with her nose and kisses my face to bring me back. Everyone who sees us together remarks at what a wonderful dog she is and how they can see on my face what a blessing she is to me, and a blessing she is!!

       I believe she was sent to rescue me. I am so in love and grateful for her. Thank you FOPAS and Peach County Rescue for making my life so much better! I will definitely be donating and supporting the work you do to save these beautiful animals and find them furever homes. 

Nala 

Nala 

Nala 

Nala