Monday, May 19, 2014

Memories from a 19-Year SSD Volunteer

Guest post by Candi Trogner

It is hard to imagine that I have been a volunteer for SSD for 19 years. It is even harder to imagine Nancy is retiring! To me, SSD is Nancy. I remember her telling me about Zach, her wonderful Lab, and his obedience training. He did very well and she felt he could be trained to do so much more. The rest is history, as they say, and the vision of SSD was born.

I volunteered up at the kennel one day a week. It was hard for me. I did not know what I was doing and did not like some of the training techniques.  It didn’t matter because Nancy was happy to see me and she was patient and encouraging. When I could not quite put the process together with the end result of a trained service dog, she invited me to attend Team Training. It was a wonderful experience and a turning point, as I became committed to SSD and their mission. But there were also fun times—chipping dog poop out of ice in the dog runs, being chased back into the training room by wild turkeys, and taking the dogs for a walk in the forest because Nancy said the sounds and smells expanded their minds. I am lucky to have lots of great memories.

I wish Nancy and Robert a wonderful retirement in Boulder, CO with two of their children and their grandchildren.  What could be better?! She has prepared us all as we go into the future, but she will be missed.

Candi Trogner is a volunteer public trainer and does demonstrations with her dog, SSD Ajax. She is the mother of two sons and Gramme to four grandchildren. She lives with her husband and Ajax in the Harrisburg area.

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