Saturday, May 28, 2016
1012 C Street  •  Floresville, TX 78114  •  Phone: 830-216-4519  •  Fax: 830-393-3219  • 

WCN Site Search


Preview the Paper Preview the Paper

Preview this week's Paper
A limited number of pages are displayed in this preview.
Preview this Week’s Issue ›
Subscribe Today ›

Lost & Found


VideoLost: German mix, male, tip of one ear missing, micro chipped, last seen with blue collar and blue bone tag with name and house number. Call if found, 830-779-2512.

VideoFound: Shepherd mix, showed up near C.R. 307 and C.R. 317, La Vernia, about one week ago, has orange collar with no tags. 210-385-2892.
Reward! Lost: Fox Terrier, white and orange female, named Sara, no collar, went missing May 1, near F.M. 775 and 3432. Call Lindsay at 210-284-0094.
More Lost & Found ads ›

Help Wanted

Full-time bartender needed at Olmos Country Corner Store, 9071 FM 467. Call Rick at 210-687-0108.
Shuttle Bus drivers needed, full-time and part-time, no experience needed. Good job tenure, clear criminal background/driving record required, $11.50-$12 DOE. Email sunny.myers@lkjordan.com. L.K. Jordan & Associates.
More Help Wanted ads ›

Featured Videos





Video Vault ›
RE/MAX homeRichardson Chevrolet homeTNMC
You’ve been granted free access to this subscribers only article.

Section A: General News


Floresville woman trains dogs to ‘see’ for people in need


Floresville woman trains dogs to ‘see’ for people in need


E-Mail this Story to a Friend
Print this Story
Pascalle Bippert
WCN Correspondent
December 26, 2013
2,587 views
1 comment

Meet Essie, a 7-1/2-month-old yellow Labrador retriever, currently in training with Wendy Riggs of Floresville, a volunteer for Guide Dogs of Texas; the organization trains service dogs for the blind.

Training can take up to a year. In that time, Wendy accomplishes potty- and house-training, along with crate training. She also teaches the dogs to obey commands and get used to working in the public, using socialization exercises.

Essie goes everywhere Wendy goes -- to the San Antonio River Walk, PetSmart, North Star Mall, H-E-B, a San Antonio Missions baseball game, a Silver Stars game at the AT&T Center, the San Antonio Rodeo, and other social outings. She becomes accustomed to being around people, yet not interacting with anyone but her handler.

It’s a normal temptation for people to want to pet a service dog, yet it is very important that they do not approach or try to pet or talk to these animals in a high squeaky voice; this is very distracting to the dog and might keep it from “doing its job.”

The safety of the blind or visually impaired person depends on the guide dog not being distracted.

“When we are out and about, we meet many people and some do know that there are right ways to react around a service dog,” Wendy explained. “We would like to inform the public. As hard as it is to do, the key is just to ignore the dog as if it were not there.”

If they get distracted, Wendy said, “they lose their focus and don’t perform their duties, which ultimately could place the blind person in danger.”

“It’s tough. But you know that it’s not your puppy. You think about how this dog will benefit someone. You think about the greater purpose.”

Essie, who was 8 weeks old when Wendy got her, is the third dog she has trained. She thought she wouldn’t get as attached as she did to the first one, or the second one, but Essie is Wendy’s third trainee and she is just as attached as she was to the previous two dogs.

To become a trainer, Wendy applied and then underwent a background check; it helps to have a fenced-in back yard. The Guide Dogs of Texas organization performed a home visit to assess the safety, environment, and other pets in the home. Wendy then walked with another dog in training to see how she reacted to the dog.

Guide dogs have to learn to walk in straight lines so they don’t trip their handlers. They learn to stop at the first step before going up a flight of stairs, so their handler knows that they are going up; when they are coming down a flight of stairs, they stop on the top step to alert the handler that they approaching down stairs.

Potty training for guide dogs is a bit different than for family pets. Wendy said the dogs are trained to do their “bathroom” functions on command. When trainers take a dog somewhere, they don’t put their vest or jacket on until the animals relieve themselves in a designated area. When they complete their necessary stop, they get lots of praise and a reward. Then their jacket goes back on and they are ready for duty. After a few times of going “on command,” they know when it is acceptable to relieve themselves.


Once the jacket goes on, most dogs will recognize that a certain behavior is expected of them and their demeanor will reflect that understanding,” Wendy said.

The vest or jacket also serves as a visible reminder to people that the dog is working.

Guide Dogs of Texas primarily works with Labradors, as they have great temperaments and are good working dogs.

The organization can provide a service dog for the blind for $1. To qualify, the applicant must be at least 17 years old and a resident of Texas, have white cane training, and go through one month of training with the dog. Guide dogs come with a lifetime of after-care. The agency follows up every year.


“We offer freedom, mobility, and independence.” Wendy said. “It’s amazing to see how a dog can change a life.”

She has heard of people who were shut-ins and almost hermits and did not go anywhere.

“Now, with a service dog, those people have jobs and socials interactions and a life,” she said.
 

Your Opinions and Comments

 
retiredinlavernia  
lavernia  
December 27, 2013 5:03am
 
Great story to wake up to. So many stories about "bad dogs" in the news it is great to read an article about how K-9s help mankind. And bless this young lady for her work to train these dogs that improve people's life.

Share your comment or opinion on this story!


You must be logged in to post a comment.




Not a subscriber?
Subscriber, but no password?
Forgot password?

Section A: General News Archives


Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. American Legion ceremony (May 25, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Annexation for fire services will be on November ballot (May 25, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts to honor fallen heroes (May 25, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Camino Real plans Open House events (May 25, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Chief Hull resigns from Poth police (May 25, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. County sets sights on new tax (May 25, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Court Update (May 25, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Editorial: Grim choices have put America in a grave situation (May 25, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Editorial: On the other side of politics in a world of digital divide (May 25, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Fire, EMS services — Who’s got you covered? (May 25, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. It’s okay to take control (May 25, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Letter: Free ride over hard work … a no-brainer! (May 25, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Letter: Housing Foundation expresses gratitude (May 25, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Letter: Mainstream media ‘brainwashing’ Hispanic/Latino voters (May 25, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Meeting Watch: Wilson County Memorial Hospital District (May 25, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Memorial Day office closures (May 25, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. One viewpoint: Making Floresville marketable with recreational facilities (May 25, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Parish plans Cemetery Ceremony (May 25, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Police arrest man in case of burned body (May 25, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Police Blotter (May 25, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Police ticket six for violating cell phone ban (May 25, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Post 539 service (May 25, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Poth electric vehicle users could be in for a 'shock' (May 25, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Poth High School students earn awards (May 25, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Severe storms shred Wilson County (May 25, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. SSCA ceremony (May 25, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Teacher salaries, student lunch prices on the rise (May 25, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Tejano music to fill the air during Labor Day event (May 25, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Turner: New businesses coming to Floresville (May 25, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Berger earns Ph.D. from Columbia University (May 18, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Brahma Happenings (May 18, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Burning body spurs murder investigation (May 18, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Can I negotiate? (May 18, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Court Update (May 18, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Editorial: Narrow views promote intellectual, moral dry rot (May 18, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Editorial: The political climate in America goes from bad to worse (May 18, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Falls City ISD’s new K-12 building almost complete (May 18, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Floresville parks master plan would relocate ball fields (May 18, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Floresville parks plan wins council approval (May 18, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Foundation awards $9K in grants (May 18, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Foundation opens health grant process (May 18, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Graco recalls booster seats (May 18, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Grass fires on the rise (May 18, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Letter: An open letter to Congress (May 18, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Letter: Illegal immigration: Who will laugh last? (May 18, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Letter: What Hispanic vote? (May 18, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Lone Star Greys to meet (May 18, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Meeting Watch: La Vernia City Council (May 18, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Meeting Watch: Poth ISD (May 18, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Police Blotter (May 18, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Police recover one of two stolen trucks (May 18, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Register for free watercolor lesson (May 18, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Stockdale campus to get upgrade soon (May 18, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Stockdale City Council approves electronic payment processing (May 18, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. TAMU-SA matches student scholarships (May 18, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Time to make plans to attend Jubilee (May 18, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Want fire protection? Attend May 19 hearing (May 18, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Acme Gold Buyers marks fifth year in Floresville (May 11, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. All Veterans Job Fair (May 11, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Cemetery group to meet (May 11, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Children’s Alliance enhances care services (May 11, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. China Grove mayor, police chief trade barbs at meeting (May 11, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Commissioners lukewarm toward hot coffee at library (May 11, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Competency and integrity (May 11, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Court Update (May 11, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Coy to get Ranger Cross (May 11, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Cub Scout Roundup (May 11, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Donate blood in May (May 11, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Editor: Trump’s candidacy sets in motion affliction in future elections (May 11, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Editorial: The voters have spoken — well, some of them have! (May 11, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Former Sutherland Springs VFD considered as a substation (May 11, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Free caregivers class starts May 26 (May 11, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Information sought in Walmart theft (May 11, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Lack of super majority vote keeps Clean Water Rule flowing (May 11, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Leetter: The government is a terrible investor (May 11, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Letter: Injection well site is near river, creeks (May 11, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Letter: Stop being negative (May 11, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. LV youths win new wheels at Bike Rodeo (May 11, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Meeting Watch: La Vernia ISD (May 11, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Mineral rights workshop set (May 11, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Miss LV Pageant, Bluebonnet Parade, graduation fill La Vernia calendar (May 11, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. New Wilson County justice center nears completion (May 11, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Personalized brick for Veterans Memorial (May 11, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Police Blotter (May 11, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Precinct 3 primary runoff is May 24 (May 11, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Rangers to honor Lorenz (May 11, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Rohrs takes over Floresville athletics (May 11, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Tanneberger qualifies for Executive Club membership (May 11, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Voters respond: One bond passes, another fails (May 11, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Wednesday morning crash injures nine (May 11, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. AACOG plans public meeting (May 4, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Accident injures two drivers (May 4, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. AgriLife offers tips to protect from Zika, other mosquito-borne diseases (May 4, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Behind the lens: Solitary stillness (May 4, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Celebration Mass June 12 (May 4, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Cemetery association meeting (May 4, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Condos are fine, but do your research (May 4, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Court Update (May 4, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Crime Stoppers aids police anonymously (May 4, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. DA, DPS bust nets 86 charges (May 4, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Debate over citizens comments dominates Floresville council (May 4, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Dwellings At Home offers lodge, ranch furnishings, more (May 4, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Editorial: Overbearing city council threatens boards’ independence (May 4, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Editorial: Taking personal responsibility will bring possibilities (May 4, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Editorial: Trump is the same old song with one more verse (May 4, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. FEDC tables recommendation of master parks plan (May 4, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. FELPS tornado repair continues as FEMA help stalls (May 4, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Floresville Chamber Luncheon May 18 (May 4, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Hall of Fame inductees: Joe Kotwig, Malcolm and Beverly Talley (May 4, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Letter: Alamo Colleges: A bust for Floresville (May 4, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Local nursing homes plan Senior Olympics May 9-13 (May 4, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Look twice for motorcycle riders (May 4, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Lyssy’s vault earns gold, sets records! (May 4, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Medicaid, CHIP application assistance (May 4, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Meeting Watch: Wilson County Commissioners Court (May 4, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. National Day of Prayer May 5 (May 4, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Police Blotter (May 4, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Ramirez promoted to colonel (May 4, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Reserve a seat for SA Tea Party (May 4, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Tanneberger tops in sales (May 4, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Treviño prepares to take reins of East Central athletics (May 4, 2016)