At Shelter to Soldier, being a private nonprofit, we rely on the community, individuals, entities, organizations, and companies to support our mission. Thankfully, we have sponsors like the Barnes firm that get behind us.
My late brother Steve, Steve Barnes, first had our firm involved in sponsorship programs. Steve was a Marine combat veteran. My dad was a world war two combat veteran. So we come from a family where we understand the difficulties that many of our veterans face when they come back into civilian life. And this program just seemed like the perfect fit.
They’ve actually sponsored three dogs. One of them being our pal Barney, rescued out of a shelter, believe it or not. And he was named after the late Steve Barnes, which brings a lot of personal meaning to the team at the Barnes firm.
Today, we’re catching up with Barney. For a session, I typically pull him, and we’re doing what we call T-ball. We’re working on getting some energy out, and he just gets to run around and play ball. He loves to play ball. Then we move on to training. He’s gotten some energy out, so I always start with his basic obedience. And then once we’re comfortable in his training mood, we start working on his task cues they use for the veterans.
They usually are with us for 12 to 18 months of training. In total, 6 to 9 months of that is weekly sessions with their veteran once they’re matched so that we can hand over all of the proper training to their veteran in order to make them successful handlers. Barney is going to be out and about. We’re going to see him at Oceanside Pier so we can see where he’s at with his task work and his public access training.
He is now in our matching phase of our program. He is meeting eligible veterans in what we call speed dating. So we have just recently approved five new veterans for our program. So Barney will be meeting every single one of them to see if he is the perfect match for them.
Barney’s perfect date would be a nice long walk on the beach, especially if there is a ball involved that he can chase and then he would like to end the night with a nice dinner with his veteran.
We’ve got to find the right person for the right dog.