About LennieDawg


Lennie is a 6.5 year old Jack Russel Poodle (Jack-a-Poo) that I trained to be a service dog. As you can see on this site, Lennie helps me greatly. When I ask, he goes to the water refrigerator, opens the door, and gets a bottle of water for me and carries it to me. When my husband is putting the water into the refrigerator, Lennie gets the bottles of water out of the wrapper and gives each bottle to my husband to put away. He goes & gets my phone, billfold, insulin, blood-pressure cuff and other things when I ask, given that he can carry them. He carries the mail up the stairs for me, puts it down, then comes back down the stairs to get other things that I am carrying and carries them for me. When I go to another room in my apartment and have many things to carry, he carries the things I give him for me. There are always challenges for Lennie, such as when the refrigerator door shuts on him, or when there are  only bottles at the back of the refrigerator, or when things are a little heavy for him. However, he is extremely persistent and keeps trying. It is like he knows that I need him right then and this dog does not give up.

Of course, he does a lot of other things that help me as well. He can open any door that is not latched, and when I ask, he goes to find and bring me my phone, billfold and insulin (the insulin is also refrigerated). I can give him anything he can carry and tell him to take it to “daddy” (my husband), and he does so gleefully. He carries the mail for me so I do not have to, and when he walks with me, he carries anything I ask given that the object is not too heavy. He does not put these items down until I give the command, and he has never punctured any item with his teeth. He always waits for me, then follows, such as when I leave a room, he waits behind me and goes with me. When we go down the stairs from our 2nd floor apartment, he stays beside me and looks up at me continually to make sure I am alright. He travels with me and has accumulated over 25,000 air miles. He is extremely outgoing (see the photos), so the airline personnel always fall in love with  him, even the pilot of the plane. All of this gave me the idea for this website.

LennieDawg.net is a website devoted to supporting the idea of Service Dogs for people with disabilities, trained by the person with a disability or a family member. Of course, the techniques shown here will apply to nearly all disabilities, and unfortunately, bed-bound people will likely not be able to train a dog themselves. If you are bed-bound or otherwise unable to train a dog, perhaps someone in your environment will do it for you. If you buy a service dog, they cost much money–about $50,000.00. This is perfectly understandable since it takes a lot of time and effort to train any dog, especially when that dog will go to another person (you) after training. When you do the training, it can happen at your own pace and in your own time.

Given that neurological disorders–all 600+ of them– have as a commonality severe, unrelenting fatigue, exercise intolerance and major sleep issues, you may wish to train your dog slowly over time. Whatever disability you have–Post-Polio Syndrome, Huntington’s disease, Hydrocephalus, Encephalitis, Multiple Sclerosis, Migraine, Parkinson’s Disease, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis Syndrome or another neuro disorder, you suffer from moderate to severe mobility issues. The wide variety of disabilities points to a need to tailor various aspects of the dog training to one’s diagnosis. We are therefore devoted to finding the best types of training for every disorder. Dogs are amazingly amenable to training and helping their human; I never cease to be amazed about how much they want to help. Lennie Dawg has been trained for the particular neurological issues in Encephalitis, Meningitis, FHM (familial hemiplegic migraine) and Diabetes, but he could be easily trained for other disabilities as well. Basically, I trained him to go get things for me when it is difficult for me to walk.

Regardless of the medical support one has, day to day living is extremely difficult for people with disabilities due to the limitations placed on the individual who has a disability, or multiple disabilities. Here, I offer training to the human so the person with the disability can train his or her dog. I hope this website accomplishes just that.

Marcie Zinn, Ph.D.

Lennie Dawg Zinn