HONOLULU (KHON2) — A couple weeks ago we completed Jane’s journey. Jane is a labradoodle we followed from a puppy to becoming a service dog to being given to her new owner.
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It turns out Jane has a brother who is following in her footsteps.
Born two years ago next month, Jane and her brother Jake were two of eight puppies born into a life of service.
This past weekend it was Jake’s turn to fly off on his own – literally.
Jake should’ve entered his life as a service dog many months ago but COVID-19 changed that.
Thanks to George Hanzawa, owner of George’s Aviation it was time.
“So when I found out we were able to get Jake over to Kauai on a private plane versus him going in the cargo I was just over the moon,” said Linda Nagamine, Jakes’ trainer.
Although trained to keep his owner calm, she said the plane ride definitely caught Jake’s attention initially.
“So I talked to him and I put my hand on his back just to reassure him,” said Nagamine. “Then once we were in the air, if you relaxed and he put his head on my lap.”
About 35 minutes later, they landed in Lihue.
“Jake is a really mellow dog ,very good,” said Jake’s new partner ken Fankhausar. “He’s well trained. He seems to know his commands. He’s been a lot of fun so far.”
For Ken who suffers from balance problems, Jake represents not just a new friend but a new sense of independence and confidence.
“I am home. I cannot walk by myself,” said Fankhausar. “I have problems picking things up. So I hope that Jake, he’s already been three or four items that he’s picked up for me so he’s very good at that. I had a dog while back. He passed away about a year ago. So we’ve been working toward getting a new one, Jake. I think it’s going to fill the void there.”
For Hawaii Fi-Do, and in this case Linda who trained Jake, no money ever changes hands.
The reward is in giving.
“Once again we have another dog going out to help somebody else become more independent,” said Susan Leuhrs of Hawaii Fi-Do. “This is a great litter. Our J litter. We’re hoping that Jake lives up to the standards that his sister Jane is doing. We’ll see.”