Bella & Kyle
“Bella came to us when she was almost a year old and it was a few months later that I contacted MSAR. George took her for a few days to see if she had what it takes to be a service dog and he said she did. We started at home with his advice on training immediately and 7 months later she was level 3 certified, she trained so easily. They’ve been a team now for 6.5 years, but only a fully certified team for 6 years.
We had 2 Shih Tzu’s before Bella, who have now passed over the rainbow bridge, and Kyle desperately wanted to connect with them but he is way too rough for such little dogs. That’s when we found Bella in a rescue in Saskatchewan and she was shipped to us. Kyle bonded with her immediately, it was like they had known each other forever. He is extremely affectionate toward Bella, and even hugged her and allowed her to touch him and Kyle HATES to be touched and will still attack anyone who touches him or gets too close. We decided to get her trained because Kyle had bolted from home. I initially was trying to get him a GPS but the programs they have here for them were severely inadequate. It would take 2 hours before the company could even start tracking him. At one point, we had a full police lead search party looking for him with the community’s help and that’s when I knew we needed to do something more to help him. We already had Bella and they had this amazing bond!! I called MSAR the next day cause I was just desperate. We have the penitentiary shooting range right across the street and through an open field from our house (George couldn’t believe that we could see right to it when he came here the first time) and Kyle was and still is crazy obsessed with the sound of gun fire!! He’s bolted there a few times so the range knows all about him. We are also surrounded by quarries filled with water on 3 sides of us and he’s ran there too and had NO fear of water at all. George was super amazing when he saw all the dangers we have in this town for an autistic kiddo who bolts and jumped at the chance to train Bella!! He trained her, then Steve trained a bit and I trained a bit. Then Bella came to us for a visit and we just continued on the training sessions until it was time to do her level 3 certification test.
Shortly after Bella was passed her level 3, Kyle walked out the back door without me knowing and was walking down the back lane without a jacket or boots on a day that it was -45. He would have frozen to death in no time. This was the first and only time Bella has barked inside the house. She panicked and let out 2 loud barks while jumping at the back door. I looked outside and saw Kyle (who I thought was in his room). He was running full speed towards the shooting range! Another time we were swimming and Bella kept pawing at me and wouldn’t stop bugging me. This was before we knew she could alert before seizures. She was only trained for response. I finally decided to listen to her and got Kyle out of the pool and he had a big seizure within a couple mins. He would have drowned if it wasn’t for her!! There’s been many times along the way with her alerting prior so we could get Kyle sitting down and not banging his head, but if I had to say how many times I know for a fact that she has saved his life, I would say about 6 times for sure!! I would definitely say countless times though, because he won’t bolt without her so she keeps him at home and she alerts to seizures that could easily cost him his life!” – Dusti, Kyle’s Mom