A Girl’s Best Friend

West Bloomfield School District student to receive service dog

Moby and Rosie sharing a hug.

Moby and Rosie sharing a hug.

Every child goes through the phase of begging their parents for a pet, and for West Bloomfield School District (WBSD) student, Morrison (Moby) B’sheart, what she needs is more than just a companion. Through the organization Canines for Change, Moby will be receiving her own service dog, Rosie. Her mother and West Bloomfield High School (WBHS) teacher, Marlowe B’sheart, worked closely with Canines for Change to choose the perfect match for Moby.

Canines for Change is a non-profit organization in Michigan that provides highly trained service dogs to children from the age of five to adults. Canines for Change has a specific process for each dog to ensure the best for their clients. The dogs begin puppy breeding and training with a breeder host family until it is eight weeks old. Then puppy trainers care for them until they are eight to twelve months old. At this point, the Canines for Change staff works with the family and the dog to ensure a canine-family bond and make sure the match is indeed the correct choice. Until 12-18 months, the dog is trained for specific skills needed for the client and once all training is done, the service dog goes through a test to ensure its skills. Follow-ups and re-certification occur throughout the life of the service dog. As a feature of Canines for Change, Moby has gone to Grand Ledge monthly to work with Rosie since she was just a puppy.

“I am learning how to hold her leash, and I teach her to do ‘cuddle’ [a sensory input skill],” Moby B’sheart explained her training with Rosie.

Moby is a 10 year old WBSD student who loves music, art and animals. She does not have three dimensional vision nor peripheral vision which proves navigating through certain spaces to be difficult for her. Having a service dog will aid her in navigating on a daily basis and will give her more confidence and independence in larger crowds.

“I am most excited to play with her and introduce her to my guinea pigs. I am excited to take her to school and make going to school better,” Moby explained.

Raising funds to bring Rosie home to the eager Moby has proven a challenge for the B’sheart household. In order for Rosie to get the proper training, training service costs
$25,000. The B’sheart family set up a YouCaring fundraiser for $12,500 at http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/moby-s-service-dog-bring-her-home-/76359

Nearly $8,000 has been raised so far. The family is hoping to bring Rosie home by the end of the school year. Also, on Sunday May 3rd, 2015, Friendship Circle will be hosting Rosie’s Family Fun Fundraiser from 4pm to 7pm to help raise more funds. The fun-filled afternoon will include bounce houses, magic, food, silent auction, and Animal Magic with Mark Rosenthal. Child entry is $10 and a sibling set is $20.

“My hope is that Rosie helps Moby be more independent in the world… and that their bond is a something special and joyous and loving,” said Marlowe B’sheart.