Having a skilled companion dog has been life changing for me. Midas, my skilled companion dog, is from a wonderful organization called Canine Companions for Independence. Midas first went to a puppy raiser for 18 months, where he learned basic commands like sit, shake, and speak. Then, Midas went to Canine Companions, where he worked very hard with a trainer to learn many more commands for 6-9 months. Midas was taught about 40 different commands. We do not use all of the commands, but some we use on a daily basis. It just depends on my needs.
I was around 8 years old when I first applied to get a skilled companion dog at Canine Companions. It took about 2 years until I got a call saying that they had a dog for me. I found out I would be going to two-week training in February of 2019. For the first couple of days, my parents and I went through lots of training to find the perfect dog for me. On the third day, I was pre-matched with my skilled companion dog, Midas III. Once I got pre-matched with Midas, we did even more training with getting him accustomed to how things worked with me and what things were the most important to help me with my independence. Around the middle of the second week, I got a final match with Midas III.
Some of the most significant things Midas does for me is to help me open closets, open doors, and pick things up that I drop (especially my phone:)) As a person with a disability, Midas has definitely made an impact in my life, an amazing one! I gained more independence, and a best friend! Check out the video below to see Midas at work, doing what he loves the most!