I am still in the process of working with Amazing Tails, so this review is one that gives insight into a current trainee's experience. I emailed Joanie, and had an appointment to review my application within a day. Though that date had to be moved several times due to snow, never once did anyone at Amazing Tails treat me as though the awful weather was my fault, which was a breath of fresh air.
When I finally did make my way to Oxford, they were warm and welcoming. Their ability to directly explore what having a service dog would be like in my situation was refreshing. They sugarcoated nothing, and supported me in exploring the pros and cons of moving forward. They outlined the process, discussed the costs I would incur very frankly over the life of the dog, and brought up issues that I had never thought of, all in the context of helping me to understand this commitment and consider if making the choice was right for me. It was an intensive day, but one of the most important thus far.
There was no pressure. I was asked to go home, consider the idea, and let them know. I did, obviously, think the matter over, using both the discussion we had and the activities they facilitated with a dog. I chose to move forward, and it was the best choice I've made in a long time.
Waiting to be matched was agonizing. Though the time frame was much shorter than I might have expected, a few short months rather than years I had heard about from other groups, I waited like a child waits for Christmas morning, each day crawling with the hope that I would have a match. I had occasional questions and sometimes just emailed to see how things were. However, Joanie answered me with patience and understanding. She gave me ideas of things to think about, and always was open and direct. She kept me abreast of every step, and when I was finally matched, Joanie sent me pictures.
Now that I have a dog that is being trained for me, Joanie keeps me involved with his progress. I'm happy to hear about his adventures, the things he enjoys, the progress of his training. I value this journey I have taken, not only because of the steps I have taken thus far, but because AT is committed to developing a community. Not once have I felt isolated or alone. I feel empowered, and as though I have a community of people wishing me nothing but success, who are helping me to work for it.
If you are considering applying with AT I have nothing but encouragement. Know, however, that you must be open the journey of a lifetime. Though I am not one to compare groups, I would like to say that everyone at AT has embraced my individuality, my own goals. Unlike many other SD training groups, there is no one size fits all program. The dog is trained for your life, and as such, you have to be willing and open to communicating, to expressing your own needs, and to being an active part of the process. If that sounds like your ideal process, one in which you are a member of community and respected as an individual with skills and talents to bring to the table, who is brought alongside your dog in the training process, who is educated and dealt with frankly, then I would urge you to apply.
I will update this review as time goes on, so please reply with questions or comments. I welcome any questions and look forward to welcoming you to the Amazing Tails community, either as a new handler, or a very much appreciated community supporter. There are ways for anyone and everyone to get involved, and I very much encourage your involvement, and am happy to do whatever I can to support anyone reading this review.
- Amanda Gipson
I initially had a hard time finding service dog organizations that seemed feasible for me. Most places I found either would not consider me because I was out of their boundary, or if they didn't have a boundary based on where you live, they had a 4+ year wait if they did accept you onto the waiting list. The first organization that I sent an application to said to give them up to 6 weeks to get back to you regarding the application. I waited with anticipation for 6 weeks like they had asked. Around week 9 I contacted them because I never heard back. I finally got ahold of someone and they told me they had no record of my application, which seemed ridiculous because I had a receipt saying they received it. I was also told they were not accepting new applications for the time being because of the high number of applicants, and that I would have to wait to apply again. Disappointed and frustrated, I pressed the person from this place to give me information on other organizations that trained service dogs because I told her what they did was not right, and that I was having a very hard time finding a place that could help me. They ended up giving me a list of random service dog organizations all over the country, some of which were not even in existence any longer. Luckily for me, Amazing Tails was on the list. I immediately looked them up and couldn't believe they never came up in all of the searches that I had done for service dog organizations. I sent an email right away asking if they would accept an application from me. I got a response literally the same day which was great and gave me some hope. I filled out an application and was invited to come for an interview just a couple of weeks later. My fiance and I went for an interview and it was clear they really take the time to get to know you and understand your needs. It is more personalized than bigger organizations., and the training of the dog is based on the specific needs of the person who will be paired with the dog. They also did a great job of making sure you fully understand what having a service dog means. They basically give you the information and the facts that you need, and leave it up to you to decide if a service dog is a good decision for you. There is no pressure, so you don't need to feel intimidated. There is also ongoing support from trainers as well as other people who have service dogs from there. I decided to get a dog from Amazing Tails, and am currently waiting while they train a dog for me. I am really excited to get my dog, and every day I can see how my dog will help me and make life better. Another thing I love about Amazing Tails is that they mostly use dogs from shelters. There are so many dogs out there that need a home and a loving bond with someone, so the fact that they are helping dogs and people at the same time is doubley awesome!November 15, 2015
- Ashleigh Blum Jennings
When I first started thinking about getting a service dog to help me with my balance, I looked into and filled out applications with several organizations. Amazing Tails was the only organization that got back to me and they immediately invited me to come meet with them to discuss what I was looking for. When I went to meet with Amazing Tails I expected them to talk with me for like an hour and then send me on my way to think about whether getting a service dog was the right decision for me. The trainers at this organization did so much more than that we discussed what a service dog could do for me, and may have me work with several of their dogs for literally hours showing me how having service dog would help my walking and overall balance. After my first visit with Amazing Tails and taking some time to think things over, I applied for a service dog in November 2014. Several months after that I received an email that they had found a dog named Logan, it is a good match for me. A few months ago I got another email that said Logan's training was almost complete and that I should come down and train with him around the week of Thanksgiving. I am so excited to leave for my training with Logan the day after Thanksgiving, and am so looking forward to embarking on this next chapter of my life with Logan. I'm also a little nervous, knowing I will face some challenges during this transition, but the trainers have told me over and over again that I can come to them at any time with questions I may have. It also helps ease my mind that Amazing Tails has a brand-new Google group where I can get help and advice from others that have gotten dogs through the organization. Amazing Tails has been so wonderfully helpful thus far and Joanie has even generously invited me to stay at her home during my two weeks of training. I have had such a good experience so far with this organization and I'm sure it will only get better after I take my dog home.
Dan Graybill Thanks you Joanie and Siobhan! I am so looking forward to getitng Denver and really appreciate all the hard work, undersstanding and paience that you two have given. We are so blessed and i will always recommend Amazing Tails to others who need a compainion.November 10, 2015
- Alyssa Elaine
I got my service dog in March of 2014. I signed the contract March of 2012. My dog was born later that month. The training took two years. The trainer gave me periodically a progress report. The contract is very explicit and they did not ask for any money at that time. The owners told me how to raise money so I could purchase my dog. They are so patient and wonderful.And when I panicked that I could not raise the money they gave me good advice and encouragement for the next two years. I have my dog and he allows me to be active with daily chores and going to work with complete confidence. Many people got their dogs over the years from this organization and gone back when their dogs retired or died. That alone say volumes about how this organization and how they try to match us humans with the dogs that will serve us the best with our disabilities. I have a disability but I'm not disabled with my dog, Jamie. Thank you to all the owners and trainers at Amazing Tails.
Gail Rogers Hoffecker i will have my service dog it will be 3yrs this coming feb. I have always had support over the last 2 half yrs with my Dog. Once you have a dog from Amazing tails they are always a phone call away to help with questions or a problem and always willing to meet and help you.. They have always been there for me.November 11, 2014
- Pamela Saylor
Highly recommend to anyone looking for a service dog to enhance their life. I have Service Dog from Amazing Tails. He has been trained to help with my balance, retrieval, and walking. The ongoing support from the trainers is fabulous!March 2, 2013
- Denice DeAntonio
Great Service dogs check them out. I'm waiting on my third service dog from Amazing Tails. There are the only ones to train your dog in there homes. That makes for the best trained dogs. The dogs are use to the vacuum, dish washer and all the other household nonses. And when you go for training it's one on one. You are not one of a group of ten or more. Which makes for a great training. Thank you for the late Ozzie and now DaisyNovember 16, 2011