Molly And Her Service Dog

October 2, 2020

Two and a half-year-old Molly Chow is surrounded by a loving family of her mom Susan, dad David, and four siblings.

The couple moved to Medicine Hat from Vancouver in 2006 and made the decision to become foster parents.

They’ve been fostering for the last 14 years and their family has grown in a big way.

“And in that time we have adopted all five of our children and range in age from 13, 12, six, three and a half and two,” David said.

Molly arrived as a foster child when she was just five weeks old and was officially adopted by the family in June of this year. Susan says Molly was exposed to drugs and alcohol during pregnancy which has had a significant impact on her development.

“Delayed speech skills, she has sleep association disorder which means she doesn’t sleep at night, she has self-harm when she gets upset or dysregulated she will self harm herself by hitting herself or biting herself or hitting her head into the floor,” she said.

Wanting to improve molly’s quality of life, an idea came to the family by chance while out for a walk with their family dog.

David says usually walks wouldn’t go well or last long as Molly would either wander away or dysregulate.

“When we allowed her to walk our older lab she calmed down and was focused and instead of going 200 metres, we actually went 3 kilometres and she did very well and so that’s when we thought maybe a service dog would be of assistance to her,” he said.

The Chows researched and came across Aspen Service Dogs, who also trained Mulder the therapy dog used by Medicine Hat Police Service.

Now the Chow family is embarking on the journey of getting a service dog for Molly.

The pups were undergoing some training at city hall on Thursday

The dog selected as the best fit for molly will be trained for her needs and the family hopes the dog can prevent self-harm.

“So when she is having her dysregulated tantrums the puppy will help her calm down. She does wander away from the house or when we’re out in public so the puppy will be the one to help her or alert us if she is having dangerous play or dangerous wandering,” Susan told Chat News.

And even support Molly during the night, “For the sleeping part, we’re hoping that the puppy will calm her so when she does wake up she doesn’t hurt herself, the puppy will be able to be with her and calm her down so by the time we get there she’s not hurting herself.”

The service dog will live with the Chows while it spends the next year learning basic obedience, followed by a year of training for Molly’s needs.

By starting Molly with a young puppy, the bonding will begin right away according to Aspen Service Dogs breeder and team leader in Medicine Hat Natalie Gillespie.

“And they almost start helping right at the beginning even though they’re not fully trained yet, their little person will respond very readily to the fact that their pup is going with them and so they’re going too,” according to Gillespie.

But this peace of mind and assistance for the family comes at a cost.

A service dog is $10,000 dollars which includes training. Aspen Service Dogs are accredited and recognized by the Alberta Government.

To help offset some of the cost, the Chow’s friends at Midnight’s Trail are holding a fundraiser on Thanksgiving Monday.

Just in time as the chows are scheduled to welcome the pup into their family later this month.

The Cowboy Challenge benefit for the Chows is on Monday, October 12 at Midnight’s Trail.

There will be horse obstacle courses for kids, youth, and adults.

It also includes a barbecue, silent auction, pony rides, and beef on a bun supper.

Owner of Midnight’s Trail Jessica Tory says she met the family three years ago when their oldest daughter started coming out for riding lessons.

“When they realized that a service dog could be really helpful for her and there’s quite a huge expense to a service dog, we thought we’d like to help out as much as possible with that,” Tory said

  • Most Recent News

    Big Dogs Need Owners

    October 9, 2020

    When the shutdown orders took full effect, it became nearly impossible to find a small dog available for adoption as Southlanders sought furry companions. In many Southland shelters, only larger breeds remained available for adoption. Now Los Angeles Animal Service is touting the joys of big dogs while offering discounted adoption fees for larger breeds […]

    Read more

    Service Dog Walkathon

    October 9, 2020

    On Saturday, October 3, hundreds of walkers from across 15 states joined the path to bettering the world for children with autism and their families as part of BluePath Service Dogs’ fourth annual walkathon. The family-friendly fundraiser – this year held virtually – raised more than $120,000 to further BluePath’s mission of providing autism service […]

    Read more

    Service Dog In The Marching Band

    October 9, 2020

    In a year that is anything but normal, the Jones College Maroon Typhoon Marching Band has welcomed its first known service dog member this fall. Laurie, a 3-year-old golden retriever, is baritone saxophone player Sara-Beth McKellar’s service dog. The Vicksburg native was diagnosed with epilepsy as a sophomore in high school after her first seizure. […]

    Read more

    Church Blesses Animals

    October 9, 2020

    St. Mary’s Church of the Immaculate Conception in Port Jervis hosted a special outdoor service last Sunday afternoon to bless the community’s pets, animals and other living creatures. In keeping with current pandemic rules, pet owners wore masks, remained distant, and took part in praying for dogs, cats, turtles, and other pets and animals around […]

    Read more

    Police Welcomes New Canine

    October 9, 2020

    Young Kingston Police service dog Bask may look small, but his handler says his training and energy are proving that he’s up to fill the shoes of his predecessor. “I think he’s going to be a great little dog,” Const. Jeff Dickson said, looking down at his new partner. A partner that, wearing the right […]

    Read more

    Dog Park For Travelers

    October 9, 2020

    St. Petersburg is widely recognized as a dog-friendly city, and St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport is making sure its four-legged visitors and their humans feel welcome by rolling out the artificial turf carpet. With the completion of the airport’s parking and roadway project – part of a series of multi-million dollar improvements at the airport over the […]

    Read more

    Service Dog Helps Firefighters

    October 9, 2020

    Firefighters battling the Archie Creek and Thielsen fires have had some long, exhausting days. But for some, their troubles seemed to melt away once they got back to camp. Why? Meet Ralph Colombo. He hauls oversize loads. And joining Ralph is his service dog, Cowboy – the morale boosting, firefighting puppy. “He just keeps my […]

    Read more

    Pet Therapy Program

    October 9, 2020

    Saturday, October 10 is World Mental Health Day, which this year has a new sense of urgency for many. Covid-19 has taken a mental and emotional toll on healthcare workers across the U.S but there is a program boosting the spirits of doctors and nurses on the frontlines. At UC Irvine Medical Center in Southern […]

    Read more

    A Service Dogs Place

    October 9, 2020

    A new Pineville nonprofit that helps people with disabilities obtain service dogs has made its first match. The Saber Life Foundation was started in March by Danea Key and her husband Joel. They provide people with trained service dogs, paying 51 percent of the cost, with the client paying the other 49 percent. Service dogs […]

    Read more

    Dog Beating Cancer

    October 9, 2020

    A little over a year after a local dog was given only a few months to live after being diagnosed with bone cancer, she is still in remission and will be celebrated her twelfth birthday this month. Cocoa has been with her owner, Bucyrus resident Christie Auck, since she was nine-weeks-old. “On Aug. 18, 2019, […]

    Read more

    More Recent News