While Patriot Service Dogs produced excellent service dogs for veterans using the skills of inmate-trainers and volunteers for years, we knew we needed a training facility to continue growing. In 2020, that dream became a reality when we opened Patriot’s Landing!
A small house with a large yard in a rural setting, “The Landing” quickly became an asset to PSD. The property allows us to practice advanced skills like turning on and off lights in a home-like setting that our inmate-trainers cannot provide. It is also a place to address issues our weekend raisers might have noticed. For example, many of our prison dogs are unsure of common household items like vacuum cleaners and dishwashers the first time they go out to a weekend raiser because they didn’t grow up with those items in the prison setting. At The Landing, we can walk them through those fears to be comfortable working in any environment.
Since its opening in early 2020, over half of our dogs in training have passed through The Landing doors, but the facility has also served as host for board meetings, puppy play dates, and final evaluations for graduates. As a nonprofit in Florida, we have always maintained a hurricane emergency and evacuation plan. Now The Landing is a crucial part of that plan. It is hard to remember how we managed without The Landing.
Patriots Landing is the beginning of a new chapter for Patriot Service Dogs, and we are excited to see how it will allow us to grow. Still, the most important review of the facility is from the dogs themselves. Many have met the neighbors: horses, cows, and camels! All have shown their tail-wagging approval of the huge fenced yard.