Brigadoon Service Dogs train dogs to provide assistance to Veterans, children and adults with physical, developmental disabilities, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury. In 2012, the organization, which is based out of Bellingham, received accreditation with Assistance Dogs International (ADI).
After the dogs complete their training they are able to perform an astonishing number of tasks for their special person in need, some of which are:
- opening or closing doors or drawers
- pulling a wheelchair
- retrieving dropped items
- providing physical balance
- activating adaptive switches
- carrying items
- assisting clients up from a fall
- help in climbing or descending stairs
- help in loading or unloading the washer and dryer
- aiding in dressing
- assistance in keeping an autistic child safe
- and turning on or off a light switch
Every assistance dog that is teamed up with a person with disabilities must go through a minimum of 300 hours of training. The first year’s expense of every puppy in training is estimated at $1,200. This includes the pup’s vaccinations, spay/neuter, eye check and food; not training or housing of the pup. When you add the cost of training, 24/7 kennel care and another year of food and medical, the cost can escalate to over $30,000 in a two year period of time.
Tickets are $60 for adults and $35 for children and are available by calling 360-733-5388.