Opihi — Service
Opihi is a multipurpose service dog who will have completed training by September 2019. He is an Australian Shepherd, Catahoula, Labrador mix born in a truck yard in Hawaii. His entire litter was sweet with one of his litter mates being trained to be a therapy dog for hospitals. I tested countless dogs and he is the only one who showed service dog potential. He is owner trained and shortly after the beginning of his training, we were both attacked by an aggressive “service dog” on my college campus. Instead of reacting, he immediately sensed a change in my heart rate and alerted me. He never stopped doing his job and remained calm while I was a nervous wreck. After the dog attack, I was worried he would no longer have the temperament necessary to be a service dog, but he proved me wrong. The school refused to remove the aggressive dog from campus, but Opihi just got better about steering me away if he noticed the dog before I did. He loves his job and tasks for me every single day. He already knows everything he would need to know as a service dog and the rest of his training will just be practice as he grows up and out of the adolescent stage. He makes it possible for me to live my life by tasking in even the most high stress situations (like a kindergarten classroom with 18 girls!). I am so proud of him and everything he has accomplished.