2024 -- CELEBRATING 50 YEARS OF PROFESSIONALLY TRAINING DOGS
When an old friend’s service dog started alerting to me, I knew it was time to get one of my own. The friend recommended me to her trainer, Marj, of Glad Wags Service Dogs. As soon as I got on the phone with Marj, I knew she was the trainer for me. We talked for a while about my specific wants, what she goes through on a day-to-day basis training dogs, and her plan for me. I could tell that she truly cares for each and every client, as well as the dogs she trains. When I met Thor, I instantly fell in love with him. He immediately alerted to my anxiety and paid so much attention to me during class. Once I brought him home, I almost immediately got covid, and he was right by my side the entire time. As someone with endometriosis and PCOS, that specific time of the month can be extremely hard on me. It’s not uncommon for me to pass out or suddenly lose a lot of blood. Thor has caught every episode without fail. In public, he keeps me calm and he makes me feel so safe. As part of PTSD, I get a bit nervous when I see the same person several times. Having Thor helps me focus on him instead of random people and worrying that they might try to hurt me. When he is with me, I seldom ever have an anxiety attack in public; and though he is not trained for Autism, he does well if I start to have a meltdown or if my sensory issues kick in and I need something to touch. At home he wakes me from night terrors by covering, and he knows when anxiety or panic attacks are coming on. He can clear rooms for me, turn the lights on or off, and bring me my anxiety medication if I need it. Marj and Thor have changed my life tremendously. I no longer have to worry about going out, because I know my boy is there to help me. If you are looking for a reputable service dog trainer who can train an amazing service dog for you at a reasonable price, and who cares for the wellbeing of and wants the best for all of her clients and dogs, look no further. I can’t thank Marj enough for my Thor, and I know all of her clients feel the same.
My name is Taye and this is my psychiatric service dog Scout. I have struggled with mental illness for most of my life. I have tried all the therapies and treatments you could think of, and even though a concoction of medication and therapy was helping, I knew it could be better. So after a couple of years of talking my parents into it, we went on a search for a service dog. We found Marj and Glad Wags through the website and we started the process with her of finding and training a service dog. Marj was so helpful in updating us and let us know when she found a dog she thought could work. Once I met Scout I knew he was going to be my service dog. By the time Scout was ready to come home I was ready for him because Marj helped educate us in what we needed to know. He is amazing in every way and has made such a difference in my life. He has given me independence and the courage to go and live life. Marj is an absolutely amazing trainer, she worked with him to make sure he was ready to go and helped us along the way when Scout got home. I’m so grateful everyday for Scout and Glad Wags for what they did for me.
"My dog Ponyo has helped me with my anxiety and other related issues more than I thought any dog could. She couldn’t be more perfect for me. I’m grateful to be able to have this system available to me, and the people who made it possible." -Waverly
"Marj Satterfield and Waverly’s service dog, Ponyo, has made a very noticeable change in our lives. Waverly’s confidence has increased quite noticeably. Initially I was worried that the attention they would get from having a service dog would add to Waverly’s anxiety. But as their entire family has noticed, the opposite occurred. Waverly now interprets the stranger’s gaze to the service dog and not themselves. They don’t complain of anxiety/constant judgement in public anymore. Ponyo has improved Waverly’s life in other ways. We can now travel in the car without stopping regularly due to fear of motion sickness. Ponyo is excellent when it comes to calming behaviors on a daily basis. The rituals/routines of caring for their service dog has also provided some needed structure and control in Waverly’s life. We are still working on other necessary behaviors from Ponyo to help our kid experience the world. Waverly has more work to do for Ponyo to interrupt behavior (like picking nails and lips) and continue pressure work when anxiety or panic attacks occur. However, panic attacks have decreased from weekly to seldom since Ponyo has been on the job. I have no doubt that Marj Satterfield will guide us through the process and keep the standards high. Her expertise and advice is a text or a phone call away. We have that support for the life of our dog. She really stands behind all the dogs she trains. Marj found the perfect dog for our kid. Ponyo’s disposition and gentle nature makes her a perfect match for Waverly’s needs. Waverly’s father and I have no doubt that finding and trusting Glad Wags Service Dogs was the right thing for our family. We expect others to have the same experience and benefits as we have.
Thank you Marj!" -Courtney (Waverly's mother)
"My name is Lara Cochran, and for several years I have been struggling with mental illness. After the recent death of several loved ones in quick succession, including the sudden passing of my first dog, Rags, my constant companion, I became unable to perform most day to day actions, including being a full time college student. Although I have only had my service dog Merlin a few months, he has changed my life dramatically. I can spend time with friends, and go out in public for some amount of time without becoming extremely fatigued. The Glad Wags training program has been a blessing that could not have come at a better time. The chance I have been given by this wonderful program has allowed me to turn my life around when it seemed almost impossible."
Riley, a black Labrador, is another of our first service dogs that we ever helped produced. Diane came to us for help in 2011 – Riley had been granted to her by another service dog organization and needed significant retroactive help in his training. His handler was up to the task, however, and has worked very, very hard with us to make Riley one of our most reliable (not to mention handsome) dogs. Riley has recently stepped up to the task of also alerting Diane of impending seizures, and this additional hard work has really focused him as a working dog.
"I was diagnosed 12 years ago with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I am also told by doctors that this is a permanent condition. Until about a year and a half ago I was completely unable to go out in public and making doctors appointments was traumatic. I had gotten Riley Dawg to train as a service Dog about 3 years ago to help me cope with my disorder. The first year and a half I went to various trainers for help in preparing him for his work. Not only was there no success in training him, he was completely miss trained for Service Dog Work. I had given up hope that he would ever be able to help me in public. I was so embarrassed to have him seen in public, his actions so inappropriate I would not take him with me when I needed to. I had given up hope he could be a Service Dog in public even though his work at home was invaluable. My therapists and a doctor told me of and recommended Glad Wags and Marj The Dog Trainer for my needs. After just one hour of evaluation Marj explained what Riley needed and what I would need to have a competent Service Dog. AT the time I was still unable to talk much less communicate well and was at a great disadvantage. The first six months of his training not only set Riley up for proper work and behavior, Marj completely reversed all the incorrect training I had followed. Today I can leave my home and go our without hesitation and confident Riley will do all that he needs to do to get me through it. I continue training with Marj to not only enhance Riley’s Service Dog work but have a goal of him being able to provide Search and Rescue services. Thanks to Marj and Glad Wags I have a True Service Dog Working that will not fail me the rest of his life. I thank God every time I go out for Marj in our lives and enabling all the needed changes for this to be a success." - Diane
"On June 25, 2010, Shelby was diagnosed with Pre B cell All (acute lymphoblastic leukemia). After enduring almost 3 years of chemo by mouth, injected into her spine, IV, and chemo injected into her thighs Shelby remains in remission. Remission does not mean cured, she still has 2 years until she is considered cured. During this time she received so many blood transfusions that we lost count. She also received multiple platelet transfusion as well as albumin. She was treated for multiple infections, pneumonia, chemical menigitis and a fungal infection that spread throughout her body. During this time Shelby came close to death but fought on. She was hospitalized over 28 times, lost her gallbladder, had surgery to clean out a fungal infection on her neck. Now for the leftovers. Shelby has AVN (avascular necrosis) in both knees and has undergone 4 knee surgeries to drill multiple holes in her femur and tibia to promote blood and regrow bone, but she has pain every day in her legs and her low back from a crack in a lumbar vertebrae. She has memory and focus issues from the IT (intrathecal chemo). Her right lung base is scarred down from the fungal infection and she has shortness of breath and chest pain with hot or humid weather (gotta love Oklahoma weather). Now to the PTSD with extreme anxiety. From everything she has had to undergone she has PTSD with extreme anxiety, she is on medication, but, she still was unable to complete a full day of school or go shopping or out to eat. After doing the research herself, we found Glad Wags and hence Shelby and Skye were paired. After completing several months of training with Marj and Skye, Shelby was able to bring Skye home. Shelby and Skye are juniors at Caney Valley High school and with Skye at her side, Shelby is able to complete 5 hours of school daily as well as shopping and daily living. Skye is at Shelby's side and the night terrors have decreased as well as just being able to start living again as a teenager. Skye has made a difference in Shelby's life and we just could not imagine Skye not being a part of our family." - Lori Truitt, Shelby Foreman's mom.