Service Dog Dexi
20 February 2020
On Thursday, February 20th Rocky Mountain Dawgs Service Dog Trainer Tara delivered Dexi to her veteran in Colorado. After meeting four weeks ago at the Winter Poker Tournament Dexi returned home with Tara for taskwork and to get her ready for this big day! Many of you will remember that Dexi is named in honor of David Sonka and his Multi-Purpose K9 Flex. At the tender age of six months, Dexi is more than ready to begin preparations for certification and living life with Jason and his family.
I had that honor of speaking to both Tara and Jason this week and can tell you that the enthusiasm in their voices for this new team was electrifying! At the end of the day that is why we do what we do and when our efforts produce great results it certainly makes for happy people!
Curtis M. Hendel, Service Dog Program Manager
Left- Working in large stores, such as Lowes, gives the team so many different things to experience. A Service Dog must be comfortable with a loud noise, erratic terrain, and surfaces, and have the discipline to go where the Veteran needs them and stay there if needed.
Right- A well trained Service Dog will stay in place in public and should not be a distraction to anybody else in the restaurant. The only time they will leave their place is if their veteran starts to experience anxiety then they will go to work.
Above- It’s not “all work and no play” at the Service Dog Project. Dexi came from Texas and gets to play in the Colorado snow. She seems to love it!
Below- Fear of heights for this young lady? Of course not! Dexi is an adventurous young lady in public and loves the work and all of the smells!
25 January 2020
On Saturday, January 25th during the annual David Sonka Memorial Poker Tournament another Service Dog Team was matched up. This team was sponsored by the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association Front Range Chapter CO 3-6.
Our newest recipient is Jason "Tito" Martinez who served as a Military Working Dog Handler in the United States Marine Corps from August 2001 until August 2005. He was stationed at Marine Corps Logistics Base, Barstow California and deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from May 2004 until November 2004. He was attached to United States Army units 1/32 and 1/34 and the Marines 24th MEU. Jason is also a husband and father.
In the years after his service, he has joined the CVMA and continues his service by helping other veterans. Jason has carried the burdens of his military service as he has been serving other veterans. Now it is his turn to receive a new battle buddy.
Jason was introduced to Dexi, a 6-month-old Chocolate Lab that hails from the state of Texas. She was screened and will be trained by one of our trainers, Tara, and shows incredible promise! The name Dexi is a combination of Fallen United States Marine Dog Handler Corporal David Sonka and his Military Working Dog Flex. She and Jason will certainly bring honor to the memory of our fallen Brother!
We will update you with training progress and share in watching this new team come
To donate toward our Service Dog Program for Veteran's with PTSD click below
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but this one is worth so many more!
On Memorial Day Jason and Dexi visited the final resting place of David Sonka and took a moment to honor his memory. Along with so many other great people, I can guarantee that the memory of David and Flex will live on forever.
Jason and Dexi are our youngest team, but they have certainly hit the ground running. The team is working very hard on obedience and has had limited time in public places with the Corona limitations, but work is going very well right now! Dexi spends virtually every minute with Jason and is developing into a very great young Service Dog. The bond between Jason and Dexi is growing stronger, and she is having a tremendous impact on Jason’s everyday life. Jason has also talked with a local veteran in Colorado and our next veteran entering the program and has made the pledge to make himself available to any of our veterans, present, and future. Jason is a great example of someone that has a strong desire to help others.
As our first dog of 2020, we are excited to watch as this team marches towards certification and beyond!
Curtis M. Hendel
Service Dog Program Manager