Jade’s former service dog Katie developed bone cancer and had to be put to sleep in November of 2011, right around the time Jade was due to graduate from college. Jade had hoped to walk across the graduation stage with Katie, without whom it would be nearly impossible to stand.
A week after putting Katie to sleep, Jade said that life without a Dane was not an option, and appeared at the Service Dog Project’s farm with her mother. They were both determined to find another match for Jade. SDP accepted the challenge - Jade had only a week before flying back to college for graduation, and she hoped to walk across the stage with her new dog in front of 3000 people.
The only dog that was anywhere near trained enough at SDP was a breeding female house dog named Pistol. SDP put Pistol through the ADI public access test immediately with no problem. Jade and Pistol bonded right away. Here is Jade’s account of her college graduation with Pistol:
“Pistol could not have done better at graduation! We made it up and down the stage slowly but surely without any issue. There were over 3000 people there and everyone there cheered for us. The announcer even announced her name with mine as we walked across the stage. On the way out we went down a long hall lined with 100 faculty members cheering and ringing cowbells. She was again unfazed - that may have been the most impressive part.”