We offer training for those looking to build an exceptional relationship with their dog. We believe that it is vital to have good communication with your dog in order to have a harmonious household. We teach you to understand your dog's needs, their communication style and how to effectively work with them on expectations to ensure a successful relationship.
We offer service dog training for Mobility, Autism, Mental Health and Psychiatric Disabilities. You have the option of an owner train program, hybrid program or a trained service dog. We offer grants for full and partial funding for Military Veterans, First Responders and Civilians with Mental Health/Psychiatric Disabilities. In addition, we offer a complete training program for Facility Dogs who work in Senior Facilities, Fire Departments, City offices, Police Departments, and Schools.
Shannon's true love is Labradors Retrievers. Her earliest memories include their family's black lab running around the yard while she rode her Big Wheel or laying by her side while she pulled carrots in the yard with her mom. All of that love and devotion to the breed is poured into each and every dog she works with, every litter she whelps and helps raise. She bred for her first litter in 1992 and has continued learning how to breed better and raise better puppies. Labrador Retrievers are a special breed and have been number one with humans for more than 30-years for a reason. Labs are empathic, smart, inquisitive, happy, endearing and simply a very well-rounded working breed. They love their people, and are people pleasers to their core, this in combination with their intelligence make them easier to train than most, it also makes them great candidates for working positions such as Service, Facility and Therapy.
Shannon has struggled with depression and anxiety a large part of her life. In 2018, during a time she had been in a toxic and abusive work environment she had a depressive episode and after suicide ideation, spent time in a mental health outpatient program where she was diagnosed with Severe Depressive Disorder, PTSD and Anxiety Disorder. Her yellow Labrador, who had completed her first year of training towards her career as a service dog helped to save her life.
Shannon has always found joy and purpose in serving those in her community. She has given thousands of hours in service to her children's schools, her community and organizations such as 4-H and Campfire. When she looked at life "after kids", she wanted to do something that held meaning, that would serve others. One thing she had learned while going through treatment was that there weren't many options outside of medication for those with diagnosed Mental Health/ Psychiatric Disabilities. She saw first-hand how mental health disabilities effected people and those who love them. She knew the damage that self-medicating a Mental Health Disability with drugs and alcohol did to people from watching her grandfather, a U.S. Navy Veteran do it. Shannon felt that if people who lived with mental health disabilities had the option of a quality service dog it would be life changing, or life making (as Shannon likes to say). Therapy dogs can be $20,000 and Service dogs can be upwards of $50,000. This puts them out of range for a majority of people who need them but can't afford them. Shannon's dream of creating an organization where EVERYONE could come and get the support of a highly trained Service Dog; an organization that would help provide Facility Dogs to help support every Law Enforcement agency, Firehouse, Senior Facility, Educational institution, and Mental Health program. A place that provided these life making partners at little to no fee.
Shannon is married to her high school sweetheart, and the mother of three; two boys and a girl. Her oldest served his country overseas in three countries in the U.S. Air Force for more than 8-years, including a deployment to Afghanistan. In 2020 she received a call that her son was in the hospital after being assaulted by a fellow Airman, almost taking his life. Shannon watched firsthand how the U.S. Military's tenuous medical and court system works. After 31-months, a court case and Med Board; he came home and was medically retired in early 2023. Shannon has watched the life making relationship between her son and his in-training Service Dog.
In 2022 she started Willow Kane Farm Labrador Retriever 501(c)3 Nonprofit, working towards this dream by breeding and donating her puppies to organizations that offered Service Dog training to Military Veterans and First Responders. Shannon's three-year goal was to start training services that would be available to ALL people with a diagnosed Mental Health/ Psychiatric Disability. In 2023 Shannon met Amy Wolfe, and in her she found a kindred soul, a person who shared the same passion and purpose in providing Service Dogs for those that needed them. Over a beer and Tator Tots, Althea Canines was born.
Amy Wolfe spent a career working in EMS Services, first as an EMT on an Ambulance, then as a 911 Dispatcher for 20-years. Amy worked to train her Service Dog in an Owner Train program. Amy's Service Dog Sailor, a beautiful red Golden Retriever, came from the Bejing Meat Market. Sailor came to the U.S. on a freedom flight, arriving in a crate, one stacked among 19 other dogs on a cargo plane. Sailor is smart and empathetic; Amy knew right away that Sailor was her Heart Dog. Amy has a passion for helping others to find their healing path through the work and connection of a Service Dog. Amy's husband Doug gave 4-years to his country serving in the U.S. Navy and then he served Contra Costa County as a Sheriffs Deputy for 23-years. With this history, Amy's knowledge for our Military Veterans and EMS Service students is invaluable, giving her a clear understanding of the culture they come from and what they have faced day to day.
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