Meet Our Graduates

Tao Service Dogs is a new organization, so our graduate list is just beginning.  We look forward to adding more graduates each year as our clients attain their goals of independence and partnership.
Max - Graduated 2010
Retired 2014 due to arthritis

Blog: In the Line of Service
Facebook: In the Line of Service

Due to early onset arthritis from a low level auto-immune disorder and long term use of Prednisone, Max developed arthritis in his hips. His handler an owner of Tao Service Dogs knew he couldn't keep working with his hips getting worse, so she set a retirement date and reduced the amount of work he did. It was hard on him in the beginning, but she faded him into a new job as demo and evaluation dog for Tao Service Dogs and neutral dog for helping dogs who need to learn to trust again. He enjoys his lighter load of work and still helps around the house. Max is a valued member of Tao Service Dogs and lives a happy and full life with his handler.

Due to Max, Charlie K Bales learned how to train service dogs and grew to love teaching others the value of service dogs, service dog law and how to handle a service dog. Max is Tao Service Dogs mascot and will always be the inspiration behind the concept that started the business.
Jack - Graduated 2014

Blog: Jack's Journey
Facebook: Jack's Journey

Jack was donated to the program at the age of 13 months. Raised by a family who loved him, he was given amazing socialization in his early months with small dogs and big dogs alike. He was exposed to children, who to this day is still his favorite thing, and given lots of love with people. He was part of a liter meant for a family breeding. His brothers and sisters were all spoken for, as was he, but due to a change in his first family's circumstances he never went to them. Instead, his birth family took extremely good care of him, but feared he wasn't being used for the best purposes. His liter mates were hunting and doing amazing things with their lives and he was hanging out during the day waiting for his birth family to come home. They called me and asked if he could be a service dog and after I met him I said I would love to take him in. History was made. Eight months later Jack was working at his new handler's side helping her recover from her surgery and has been nothing but inspiration on what a service dog should be. He is a wiggle and a kiss and a hug. He was a pure joy to train and simply needed a bit of guidance in training, some confidence building in public access skills and task training. His birth family had already done the amazing job of socialization, foundation work and leash skills. I can't thank them enough for donating such a sound, loving and amazing dog to us. Jack is and always will be a favorite at Tao Service Dogs.
Emma - Graduated 2014

Blog:  Raising Emma
Facebook: Raising Emma

Emma was selected by her family from a liter of Labradoodles. I had been called in to test a new liter and Emma was an oldr pup from a previous liter. Their son, who has CP, had already met and loved her but I wasn't told of this, was the best of the pups I tested and the one I approved for their goal. She was close to closing window of super socialization and I was, at the time of seclection, unaware that she had been spayed prior to 8 weeks of age. These would be factors I would learn from as a trainer for future selection of puppies for clients.

Emma was moved down to the Tri-Cities and then traveled back up to the Spokane area before she came to begin her Board and Train with me. She spent 4 days with her new family before she spent 4 days with me and her world seemed to be out of balance for a while. As a Labradoodle she was a soft, gentle personality which needed extra care and patience. This would be something that would stay with her throughout her training for the remainder of her time with me.

In her blog I make the announcement near her second birthday that I career changed her from Public Access to In Home Service only. Emma simply could not handle the rapid changes of Public Access. She was a sweet and loving dog who loved her job and took great joy in helping, but was nerous and stressed easily in public. It was not fair to ask her to work in public and stress her. She would do it, her training was such she wuld give her all, but the fall out at home was too much. For her health, I made the choice to keep her in the home and keep her happy and healthy.

Emma is an invaluable asset to her handler in the home. She knows many tasks to help him, including removing his clothing, going to get help, Deep Pressure Therapy, making and turning down his bed, turning on and off light and more. Most of all, she knows how to love him and make him laugh with her sweet, loving personality.

The best part of being an In Home Service Dog is she can work longer than most public access dogs can. Though Max is retired from Public Access, he is still assisting in the home with light chores - Emma can help for many more years in the home than had she been working in Public Access.

I am very proud of this soft, sweet girl. She had a lot to work through mentally and emotionally to get where she is and I was told by many they would have given up on her long before I did. It is true, but I could see a dog who truly needed help feeling safe in the world and her confidence built and that is what happened. She walked out of my program standing tall. You go girl!


Blog: Malcolm's Quest
Facebook: Malcolm's Quest

Malcolm came into Tao's program at 8 weeks of age.  A feisty pup with a lot of energy and a thirst to explore, Malcolm was born to be a service dog.  He began the Level's program on his second day and super socialization with his handler, Tao's owner Charlie Bales, right away.  When one of Diamond's own puppy experts had a chance to watch Malcolm for 2 hours and returned him to her with the line "I don't envy you" and this puppy expert owned a Belgian Shepherd herself, Charlie knew she was in for the ride of her life with young Malcolm.

He's proven to be a fun pup to train, raise and work with.  He grew into a gentle, loving dog, but his youth was a roller coaster of experience in learning about counter conditioning, thresholds and more.  Malcolm was a dog needed to improve her learning theory and she truly cherishes him for all he taught her and all together they learned.

Through his associations with other dogs such as Max and Jack he learned how to be a great socialization dog and demo dog.  He now works a service dog, demo dog and socialization dog for Tao Service Dogs.  He is a cherished and loved  member of the Tao family.