Remember DINAH - The Service Dog Puppy?
In the Fall of 2020, our Cataraqui-Kingston Rotary Club awarded a Community Service Project Grant to KINGSTON 4 PAWS SERVICE DOGS in order to assist in acquiring and training a service dog to be placed eventually with a person with Autism, PTSD, seizures, other health issues, or mobility challenges.
Today, almost 18 months later, we received an update and photos from Dinah’s Foster Family describing how Dinah has grown into a wonderful companion and enriched their lives as she prepares for her placement with a special needs individual.  It is a heartwarming story which we thought everyone would love to read.  Their letter follows, so please continue…
“Kingston 4 Paws Dinah”
  February 2022
Dinah (Dog) came to our little family in November of 2020 and became Part II of our “Pandemic Project.” We call her “Dinah (Dog)” or “DD” because – being writers – we like alliteration. She’s a lovely, gentle, but whip-smart yellow Labrador retriever who will – in the fullness of time – make someone’s life (someone with Autism or PTSD or mobility issues or seizure disorder) much richer and more fulfilling. 
If you know dogs – or dog people – you will not be surprised to learn that we fell in love with her instantly. And she with us. 
Equally important, she formed a tight bond with Pandemic Project Part I, our immune-compromised grand-daughter, Athena, who will turn five in 2022. From their first encounter, their relationship has been productive and wonderful for both of them – and for us to watch develop and evolve. Because Athena is immune compromised she has not been able to engage with other kids in daycare settings. So we, Athena’s grandparents, have been providing care whenever her parents could return to work and school between lockdowns. The synergy and friendship between Athena and Dinah have been sublime for both.
That we have to surrender Dinah sooner rather than later is something we think about all the time, although we knew that going in. Kingston 4 Paws provides an urgent service – and we are only too happy, indeed honoured, to have fostered Dinah and to have participated in her training regime. She likes to work: She likes to run through her commands. She loves to “centre” – to park herself between your open legs and sit – on the “nothing ventured-nothing gained” prospect that you just might have a treat to share with her. 
She’s pretty good at ignoring distractions in stores and public places but also very social with other dogs when given permission to “go visit.” She will sit for what seems – to her anyway – an eternity in a “wait” before inhaling her two daily meals. And she nearly levitates with excitement when commanded to perform a “paws up,” which is the command instructing her to put her front paws on the chest of her client – which certain clients find relaxing and reassuring. She’s also pretty consistent with recall – “come” – even when playing with other dogs.
There is no question that Dinah is smart – maybe a little too smart? – and that she has picked up on all the routines in our household. Too much intelligence in dogs can be a challenge but, on balance, Dinah is smart enough to remember who’s in charge. 
The Rotary Club of Cataraqui-Kingston – which sponsors K4PSD – should know that this particular pooch will greatly enrich someone’s life for 10 or more years before she hits retirement age. Service dogs enable people with various hardships to attain and enjoy a quality of life unimaginable in the absence of a lovely pooch like Dinah. 
It has been a pleasure and an honour to work with the wonderful trainers at Kingston 4 Paws and to have Dinah in our lives. Thank you for helping make that happen.
Josephine & Craig 
Thank you, Josephine and Craig, for sharing your Story of “Dinah Dog” with us!