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Genius Dogs, Campus Expansion and Ditching That Wheelchair

Updated: Jun 20

Breaking Ground On Our New Kennel

Craig Carlton keeps his promises. On May 28, his team broke ground on the new Carlton Kennel Building that he is donating to our training campus!


Increasing our capacity by 25%, the Carlton Kennel Building will help our clients receive their custom trained Service Dogs faster!


Thank you, Craig, and friends of C.C. Carlton Industries!

 Pictured L-R, SDI Founder and CEO Sheri Soltes, C. C. Carlton Industries President Joe Guerrero, Field Superintendent Lalo Santiago, Vice President Chandler Carlton

Herman Helped Me Walk Again!

By Tonya Andrews, USAF Veteran and SDI Graduate


Life changing!  Those words best describe my relationship with Services Dogs, Inc.  


From the moment I started working with them to this very second my life has improved exponentially.  When I first wheeled onto the campus in my wheelchair with my caregiver, I had no idea what to expect from this new adventure I decided to take on.  


But from the first moment I laid eyes on my Service Dog Herman, I knew things would be different. Together Herman and I have accomplished more than I ever dreamed.  Not only does he pick up anything I drop, open and close doors, drawers and cabinets, but this amazing dog helped me relearn to walk!


One day in physical therapy my therapist asked me if I ever thought about using Herman to help walk. From my wheelchair my mind was blown. “How can he help me walk?” The biggest reasons I was in my wheelchair was fatigue that would cause my legs to give out and lack of balance.  I couldn’t tell if I was walking straight or in a diagonal.  But how could Herman help with those things?  


So began Herman and my newest adventure.  Walking!  We started off with a new walker and red tape on the ground.  His job was to make sure he stayed on the line…keeping me walking straight.  


While practicing this Herman decided all on his own one day that he would move in front of me.  Confused as to why he would break from his normal line walking, I had to stop to avoid running him over.  At that moment my legs gave out on me causing me to fall.  


After sitting a minute, we resumed practicing. But again Herman moved in front of me, followed immediately by my legs giving out.  


My therapist posed the question “do you think he’s warning you that you are about to fall?”  

The next session after practicing for a while Herman, again moved in front of me. This time I listened and sat down. After resting a bit we resumed walking, Herman once again walking perfectly on the line keeping me walking straight.  This wonderful amazing dog had taught himself to prevent me from falling from fatigue!!


Fast forward a year later and the only times I’m in my wheelchair are for long distances or bad days, which Herman lets me know by blocking me when we try to walk.  In addition, I now walk with a cane and Herman in his harness.  He makes sure that I walk straight and notifies me when I’m getting fatigued.  


The new sense of independence I have today because of Herman and Service Dogs, Inc is beyond anything I could have imagined when I first signed up with them.  I can’t thoroughly express my and my family's gratitude to everyone involved.  And now Herman and I are off to our next adventure…who know what’s next for us!


We hope you enjoyed reading Tonya's story. Please consider donating for more miracles!

ALL Dogs Advancing Phase 2: Task Work

Our dogs have progressed to Phase 2 of their training two to six weeks ahead of schedule!


Phase 1: Basic manners, body awareness and attention.


Phase 2: Assistance tasks, more complex public work: 

  • Hearing Dogs - sound alerts (Vogue, photo1)

  • Service Dogs - retrieves, opening and closing doors, walking next to wheelchair (Broadway, photo 2)

  • Public Work - walking next to shopping cart (Banjo, photo 3)

  • Courthouse Facility Dogs - witness stand invisibility (Cadillac, photo 4)


How did our dogs advance so uniformly and rapidly? Our increase of Canine Support staff. They provide our dogs diverse enrichment to reduce kennel stress and increase their joy of SDI life!


Will you help us keep training and providing our dogs to clients free of charge

with a tax-free donation?

Go First Class With Mercedes Career Change Dog For Pet Adoption

Playful and lovable describe our gorgeous Mercedes.


Almost 2 years old, this sweet Lab / Anatolian Shepherd mix loves training and thrives with games of fetch to burn energy.


A cozy homebody at heart, she prefers the security of home life versus venturing into lots of public places, which can overwhelm her.


She feels her best meeting new people with slow and calm introductions.  We’ll show you how!


Mercedes goes first class and will do best where she is the sole pet and can capitalize on your love and attention. Which she will give back to you, ten-fold!

Get comfy at our 24th Annual Mighty Texas Dog Walk & Expo!

Sat., November 16 @ Camp Mabry's beautiful Parade Grounds.

Swag, wag & brag!

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