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Article reprinted from WALB News10: http://www.walb.com/story/28611773/rami-goes-for-advanced-training
THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) -Rami, the unique-looking Pit Bull/Dachshund mix that created a sensation for the Moultrie Colquitt County Humane Society will become a therapy dog, and an ambassador for shelter dogs everywhere.
Thousands of applications flooded in to adopt him, but the society decided his best path was as an ambassador, so he will remain with the shelter.
Rami will train with Master Dog Behavioral Therapist and Trainer Leigh Ann Falconer of Bark Busters Home Dog Training in Thomasville.
He's recently begun his training and he and Leigh Ann are making great progress together.
Bark Busters' training will prepare Rami to visit children in schools and hospitals and the elderly in nursing homes, as studies indicate that certified therapy dogs help people physically, emotionally, and socially.
He's one of a kind.
"I do remember thinking he might be a little challenging because both pit bulls anddachshundss have a lot of energy," says Leighann Falconer, a DogBehaviorall Therapist.
Rami is a unique mix of breeds and his popularity has led him to become therapy dog and ambassador for the Moultrie-Colquitt County humane Society.
His trainer Leighann Falconer says they're starting from scratch.
"So we started on sit stays, down stays, walk to heel, coming when called and all the basic stuff," says Falconer.
Rami is still very young, but doing great for a puppy whose just a year old.
Today they introduced him to wheelchairs and crutches.
"He did not care about the equipment at all, he's a very confident boy, and that makes for a great therapy dog," she says.
But he's still learning not to jump on people.
"He really loves people, especially children, and that's been one thing that's really hard to break."
He's living up to the owners expectations as a mascot..Shelter officials say they had a record breaking adoption eventrecentlyy.
"We adopted out 22 dogs in one day and that was a record for us and we were very pleased with it,"says Board President Dawn Blanton.
Falconer says he has about five more weeks of training to go until he'll be able to pass the international dog therapy test.