BARTLETT — Little Angels Service Dogs is up and running in Bartlett at Sky Valley Ranch, with the first two clients recently being welcomed to meet their “furever” friends and learn to become certified working teams.
Plus, coming up in a few weeks a grand opening will be held at the former Sky Valley Motel on Route 302, which is being leased with an option to own by the Drew family as home to the non-profit, which serves those with medical disabilities.
It is serving as the East Coast base for San Diego-based Little Angels Service Dogs.
The Bartlett facility is used for housing the trainers, and training the dogs and handlers, and it is where clients learn to work with their dog as a team.
Both clients were in the valley for two weeks for lessons and field trips with the trainers and dogs at the facility, which was transformed by the Drews and volunteers over the winter.
According to client coordinator Darlene Drew and her son, head trainer Josh Drew, the Newcomb family several weeks ago came from Indiana to receive a seizure alert dog for daughter Emily 7.
The dog, Juliet, is a 2-year-old English cream retriever.
“After working with her girl for just 12 days and living with her at the hotel for five, Juliet alerted to Emily’s seizure at The Moat on a busy afternoon," Darlene said, noting that Juliet alerted Emily’s mom, Amy, by pawing at her leg.
The other client, Jessica, was here from Texas to receive her medical alert assistance dog. Finlay is a 2-year-old Bichon Frise. According to Darlene, Jessica said it was “love at first sight” when she and Finlay met on Day 1.
Darlene said she was thankful to be working with so many local businesses that are going out of their way to welcome their clients while they are in town.
For example, Residence Inn provides a discounted rate and makes sure the families and dogs have their needs met while they are here.
In addition, Percy Paws in Settlers Green is offering each family a 20 percent discount on doggie splurges.
“It makes us proud to be a part of such an amazing community when our recipients tell us stories about how kind our local businesses are while they are out shopping and sightseeing," Josh said.
Next up is a grand opening, set for Aug. 24 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. It is billed as a “Dog Daze of Summer” celebration.
The Drews said the ranch will be filled with activities, food and fun for all ages. Total Entertainment from Danvers, Mass., will be setting up multiple inflatable attractions (including the Knock Out attraction for teen visitors), trackless train rides, mini golf, carnival games and more.
The Cheese Louise food truck will be on hand to feed the crowds, and Elevation 6288 will be serving up refreshing gelato and shaved ice.
Other food on the menu includes smoked meatball subs, Japanese fried rice and carnival snacks.
A silent auction will be held, featuring such items as Maui Jim sunglasses, gift certificates to restaurants and attractions around New England, pre-season Patriots tickets and dog items.
Service dog demos will take place throughout the day, and trainers, staff and board members will be on hand to answer any questions.
For more information, go to littleangelsservicedogs.org or call (800) 528-9550 or (603) 733-6643.