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Dream Big & Dare To Fail - Col Norman Vaughan
What can I say about Coffee other than "Just watch her video." Although I wasn't a big fan of GSP's prior to our partnership, I know now that I'll never own any other breed. Although her first 16 months were full of challenges, once she became an adult, she proved that a GSP is capable of doing just about anything. Being a GSP...she does everything with intensity and excitement, giving whatever asked her all! Coffee is the foundation of my breeding program, passing on that incredible multi-discipline abilities, intelligence and communication skills.
Coffee trained me to recognize her ability to be my right hand. From bringing me my cinch under my horse, stacking wood, getting my hammer, ropes, putting things in a bucket and then bringing me the bucket...list goes on. Most of what she does, she had taken the initiative (without me training her) to do so.
Coffee started riding in the saddle with me from 7 weeks on. I found her easily trained for obedience (on the most part) which transferred from ground to saddle without flaw. The first time she retrieved a toy to the saddle (where I was sitting) I saw the potential for others with far more extreme needs than I and the idea for mobility challenged hunters to use the horse for legs and a dog to do their bidding was born. Not only is she an incredible service dog, she uses her intelligence to communicate by coming to me, circle and sit, to "show me" if something isn't right....such as me forgetting to turn off the water to the horse trough, forgetting to close doors before bed, and even coming to get me when my horse was injured. She is trained as a survival dog, able to get me necessary mountain survival components and then when instructed "Go Get Help" by finding the first person she can, circle/sit until the person follows her. "Take Me Home" cue is either home, vehicle or camp site should I become lost in the mountains. If more hikers had a dog like Coffee there would be far less "lost" people.
Coffee & Sticks are good at what they do (taking care of me) and are the inspiration behind creating a mobility challenged equine/bird dog team to bring hope to others. My critters have proven that mobility challenged individuals can get out and enjoy nature, whether just riding or hunting. Sticks became my legs, Coffee became my year-round "everything" for assisting my own mobility and life challenges.