Hamiltonstovare have been service dogs since they were first brought to America in the late 90’s. Carmen, bred by Flixtonia Hamiltonstovare in the UK, was a trained service dog for her owner who has lupus. Unfortunately, Carmen passed away from a tragic accident. However, her owner set the foundation of the idea that formed in my head about how my Hamiltonstovare could help me.
I was born with a genetic form of bilateral clubfoot. I was in casts as a baby and then had surgical correction on one foot. At the age of 12, I began to experience severe foot pain, so I was fitted with custom insoles. Since the age of 12, I was taught what limits I could and couldn’t do. I try to defy them as much as possible. The problem when I push myself to the absolute limits means that I develop tendonitis that spreads from my feet to my knees. My ankles have always been very week, and my feet have a weird tendency to just seize up completely.
In December of 2011, I had a surgical procedure that limited things that I could do. I was away from work for about a month, so I wondered if Alice could assist me by being a brace. I taught Alice a few commands and tried her out a few times and she was great. Then I got her CGC title and we were out in public from then on. Alice’s service work helps me to brace on those weak days and pick stuff off of the floor without putting so much stress on my ankles. Alice is also very intuitive to my limits as well. I don’t know how but she knows when I shouldn’t go any further.
When Rolo was imported in 2012, I knew that he was larger and he would make an even better balance aide. Now that Rolo is getting into peak condition, I know that he is going to be the primary service dog for me.
Hamiltonstovare make amazing service dogs for multiple needs and reasons. Hamiltonstovare have a natural endurance and are generally incredibly healthy which make them great for mobility dogs. Hamiltonstovare are highly trainable and bond closely with their people, so retrieving work and hearing dog work perfectly suits them. Due to the fact that Hamiltonstovare are incredibly intuitive and bond closely with their people, they make superb service dogs for seizure alert, diabetic alert, allergy/asthma alert, and PTSD.
Training Hamiltontsovare is relatively easy because they are highly food motivated. Certain things should be done prior to training your own service dog, first is make sure that you are medically able to handle the training of a service dog. Next is make sure that your dog can handle the physical rigors of service work. Then, is to find a person who knows how to train dogs properly to do what you need them to do.
Eventually I will say more of Alice and Rolo’s time out but as with everything you have to take the good with the bad. Hamiltonstovare look very different from the stereotypical service dog so people will question them. If you are not wheelchair bound, then you will get weird looks and LOTS of questions. Generally instead of taking Alice or Rolo out to blend in, they stick out. So with my recent PTSD diagnosis, it will be very difficult for me from now on.