POSTED CHERIE MARQUEZ
I am a 100% disabled Vietnam Era Veteran with PTSD and neck and back injuries.
In May of 2017 I rescued a dog which I named Kalonymus, aka Coley, which is a 2 year old American Bulldog mix about 70 pounds and brought him to into my life and my home. I had waited from Jan 3, 2017 until May to get Coley.
I then quickly realized that he was only house broken but not really trained to go outside at all. Yes, he was very playfully aggressive and I tried different things, but, unsuccessful, I eventually received a trainer set up by a non profit foundation so that he could receive training as a Service Dog, to help me cope with PTSD and support me if I should fall or lose my balance from my other injuries.
I waited through the summer months for this training to start and I did eventually get a trainer but a few months later the trainer broke the contract with the foundation because she wasn’t getting paid on time, this just left me in a very precarious situation and I needed to correct it as fast as possible.
Months seemed to go by with still no replacement trainer available or wanting to take the contract from the foundation liaison.
More Months go by and It’s now early February 2018 without a trainer and I have vacation planned to go to Peru for 3 and half months starting March 15 returning to the states almost mid-June. I needed Coley to be trained as a Service Dog and at least pass the acid test of being socialized, calm around people at the airport, and going through TSA with all the necessary documents in order, stamped by the USDA after passing a physical, making sure he has all the necessary vaccinations needed for Peru, and to be admitted back into the USA through immigration animal health import section at the Miami International Airport.
Coley is a beautiful lovely sweet and very loving puppy but a real teenager out on the street, playful aggressive with other dogs, always wanting to meet new animals, birds and ducks and dogs of all kinds and lunge a bit at bikes and people walking or babies in carriages. While he is playful and calm off the leash with other dogs at the dog park. His behavior changes rapidly back on the leash.
Out on the street on leash when a bicycle or motorcycle came by he became totally out of control, lunging and barking, somewhat frightened by the new noises. With most people he was a little bit more tolerant and became better as I trained him myself, however he still was not perfect or able to be used as a service dog on any kind of a commercial aircraft. Truth be being said that I was asked to leave more stores then I can remember. His bark was very loud and attracted lots of attention especially store personnel and or management. His photo flashed on the store monitors and he was already well known.
The clock was ticking, and the days were flying by to take my trip overseas. On a trip to a local store one afternoon I noticed a sign saying dog training boot camp available with a phone number for
Healing Paws Guru. I immediately made a call reaching Cherie Marquez, Owner and Head Trainer. I set up an immediate appointment. Coley was going to camp for 15 days and being trained by Cherie Marquez. I packed his favorite food and put on his leash met Cherie and then Coley became a camper at Arfington Pet Resort in Tamarac Florida, to be personally trained by Cherie.
I was kept up to date on his training progress and photos, video on a daily basis. Since being successful going through TSA and boarding and flying on Latam airlines were my primary goal, Cherie was able to train Coley exactly as I had requested to a point where we made it all the way to Peru and through customs and immigration exceptionally well. We had to purchase a muzzle for the flight Captains Orders, wonder if he ever wore a muzzle. The flight was a long 5-6 hours and Coley slept most of the way as we had bulk head seating, and he was stretched out. All 5 and half foot of him between us and the bulkhead.
We removed the muzzle once off the ground. The crew in business class and some passenger immediately took a liking to him and were petting him as the flight came closer and closer to Lima Peru. Once arrived at Lima Jose Chavez airport the major test was about to start. Again, we had to place the muzzle around his mouth, CAPTAINS ORDERS and then deplaned through baggage controls and Peru’ version of the USDA for document checking and immigration for a dog. Once through that procedure we went to through immigrations and customs with no problem. Once outside the immigration control area we removed the muzzle and he was now in Lima, Peru, taking in the sights and overabundance of noise from trucks, motorcycles, cars, and bikes as well as people walking in the streets. All in all, he did just great and although I had benedryl ready and waiting for him to keep him calm he just seemed to take everything in stride and went through it all with no hiccups and no benedyrl.
This morning we took a walk to a local dog park which is quite different from the type we have here in the states, nestled in between medium high building and cars, buses, and everything mobile seem to be going through this park. Certainly, a far cry from what we know of in the states.
All I can say is our prayers were answered and many thanks to Cherie for the outstanding task she had undertaken to get Coley ready to go on a long overseas flight, certainly a first for him.
Thank you for all you have done for us in such a short amount of time and would welcome any questions from anybody wanting to discuss the training and value of the training received. I will always recommend Cherie Marquez for her training abilities and care she takes with training dogs. Her training is certainly different from other trainers and her love for animals and people are amazing!
All the best,
David and Coley