The 1st service dog in Greece

Aspasia was the average 17 year old healthy girl living a normal life, until the day her own father shot her in the head. Since then, Aspasia has been living with 99% disability, being treated for the last 3 years in  the "Αnimus" Rehabilitation and Recovery center in Greece. Her mother is always by her side, doing everything she can to help Aspasia.

Her mother found out about service dogs and their ability to assist people with disabilities and contacted Elena Palagka, in order to see if it was possible to get a service dog for Aspasia. Elena Palagka is the only certified service dog trainer in Greece and administrator of the Nina Service Dogs foundation.

Upon receiving that request, Elena looked for and found a sponsor in order to buy the puppy Labrador Retriever for Aspasia. His name is Mike and his training has already started. Once the training period is complete, he is not only going to be Aspasia's service dog, but also the first service dog in Greece.

At present, Mike, the beautiful Labrador is being trained for obedience and social behavior. After he is done with his advanced obedience, Mike will start his specialized training in order to cover Aspasia’s needs. Aspasia has breathing problems, which pose as a constant threat of causing apnea. Mike will learn to recognize and alert her caretakers when this occurs. She also has seizures and rapid metabolic changes on her blood sugar levels, so Mike could be of even more help with training, which can make him recognize the chemical changes in her body and pre-alert (scent training).

Aspasia’s arms and legs are 90% paralyzed, but even so, she has tried to touch and pet Mike twice. Mike will give her motivation to make movements or even make her try to form sentences (and hopefully speak). Aspasia’s condition constantly changes, so there is a chance that she may be able to take some steps and could even walk some day through recovery and rehabilitation.

Mike will be trained for balance and mobility in order to provide her with balance. Mike will certainly change Aspasia’s mother’s life, making her feel more secure. Finally Aspasia will have a dedicated real friend, who will make her gain self confidence and help her socialize.

Mike is the first service dog in training and he has a very important mission to accomplish. We hope that he will make it all the way through and upon completing his training, he will be able to match perfectly with Aspasia, meeting her needs and expectations. Good luck, Mike.

Elena Palagka, Nina Service Dogs