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About

OUR DOGS

BSD provides several types of service animals. All dogs are custom trained to meet your unique needs.

Assistance dogs are for persons with mobility impairments (wheelchair, crutches, etc.), or mobility impairments combined with other challenges such as hearing, speech or partial vision loss.

Therapy dogs provide companionship and therapeutic partnerships for persons with mental/emotional challenges (head injury, Downs etc.). Therapy dogs may also perform service functions such as picking up dropped objects, depending upon the capacity of the consumer.

Seizure Response dogs can respond to a seizure by providing assistance during a seizure. (ie: touching a switch or other device to call for help).

Seizure Alert dogs may alert to an imminent seizure. About 15% of dogs and 50% of service dogs possess the sensitivity to alert to seizures , low blood sugar, or other conditions before the event occurs. Because of the intiutive nature of seizure alerting, BSD cannot (nor can any trainer) guarantee a dog will alert to seizures.

Facility dogs are trained to interact in a therapeutic manner with consumers in residential facilities, hospitals, etc.

POUND POOCHES

The majority of our dogs are unwanted, throwaway dogs. Some come to us with serious, but curable medical conditions. Others have never had a loving home. By using unwanted animals, we are able to better not only the lives of the consumers we serve, but also save the lives of some wonderful, undervalued animals that deserve a second chance.

Evie, pictured here, came to us with a very severe (but easily curable) case of demodectic mange. Only 50% of her body was covered with hair! The shelter staff saw beyond her scars and baldness, and decided to give Evie a chance at adoption. But, nobody wanted her due to her rough appearance – until BSD evaluated her! Evie is a wonderful dog with the big heart and loving disposition every good service dog possesses!

OUR STAFF

Christy Talbert, Owner
“I have been married to my husband Fred for more than 20 years. Our son Josh recently graduated. Our family pets include Misty (rescued black lab), and Egan (briard).

“In addition to training service dogs for more than 30 years, I enjoy studying the Bible, horseback riding, rehabilitating wildlife, snorkeling, and travel. Since 1997, I have served on the staff of Central Ohio Youth for Christ, working with teens through the Internet and visiting them at the Franklin County Detention Center. I hold a B. S. from The Ohio State University in Agriculture, majoring in Animal Science.”

Anneliese Diaz, Trainer

“I have always been fascinated with dogs. I cannot imagine living without them. People have always told me I have a way with dogs, and can read them in ways others can’t.

“The last few years I have been working at a kennel, which helped me realize my calling to become a trainer. I began looking around at training schools, and eventually, I met Christy.

“Christy told me she trained service dogs for persons with disabilities, and I really wanted to give it a try! The amazing thing about what we do is we change several lives in the process of training.”

Alice Brownell, Foster Trainer

“I have been a dog lover ever since I got my first dog, a Tibetan terrier named Lucky, when I was three years old.  My other interests includereading, traveling, and learning about life and politics in Medieval Europe.  I have a BA in zoology from Ohio Wesleyan University and I am currently working toward my teacher certification in high school biology.

I have been training with BSD since March 2011.  My favorite part of this job is watching my former trainees improve the lives of their new partners.’

Jen Bianchi, Foster Trainer

I have been training dogs for a little over 10 years now. My first dog, who is still living, was a wedding present from my husband.My interests are ultra lightweight backpacking, hiking, camping, knitting, and obedience/rally competitions with my dogs. I also enjoy volunteering at our church and a Christian camp near by specifically for people with disabilities. I fell in love with training service dogs after having the need for one myself. Now that I have the ability to train them for other people I enjoy it even more. What I love best about training with BSD is seeing the turn around in the dogs going through the training process and being there every step along the way. I am truly blessed that God has connected me with this wonderful group of trainers!

HISTORY

I began training service dogs as a volunteer for Support Dogs for the Handicapped (founded by Sandy Maze) in the early eighties.

At that time, using dogs to assist persons with mobility impairments was a completely new idea.

Many years later, I learned that Canine Companions for Independence (CCI) had started in California at about the same time Support Dogs started here in Columbus.

While I was working with Support Dogs, I met Sam and Joe Maxwell. Joe was a quadriplegic, and Sam was his wife. Sam, Joe, and I spent hundreds of hours evaluating dogs and trying to figure out the best way to produce a dog that worked reliably and joyfully for a disabled person. There was no experienced person to teach us everything was learned by trial and, especially, error.

The training techniques I use today are the same ones Sam and Joe developed early on (although, much refined now).

Fledgling organizations are prone to disunity (and drama!). Eventually, Sam and Joe parted ways with Support Dogs, and formed a new organization with the help of a neighbor. This organization was called Happy Canine Helpers (now disbanded).

After a couple of years, another split occurred, and Sam and Joe formed Guide Dogs for the Handicapped, which was later renamed Assistance Dogs of America. (As a side note, CCI eventually took over Support Dogs and has a facility in Delaware, Ohio).

Throughout all these organizational changes, I continued to train and place service dogs. Often, I did this on a volunteer basis, but I also was employed by Assistance Dogs of America, first, in the late 80′s and later in 1990, first as a contractual trainer and then for several years as Director of Training. When ADAI moved entirely to it’s location in Swanton, Ohio, I didn’t want to relocate, and assumed my days as a dog trainer were over. As it turned out, I continued to get requests to train dogs, and BSD was born.