Service dog returns to Greenville, offers learning experience for Butler Co. Schools

Published 11:59 am Wednesday, April 11, 2018

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Bailey, a service dog for Service Dogs Alabama and WSFA TV puppy, returned to Greenville Monday morning.

Bailey spent time visiting with elementary students at W.O. Parmer and Greenville Elementary School before meeting with Mayor Dexter McClendon.

Bailey greeted many people at City Hall during her visit.

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Her handler and caretaker, Anne Stanford said, “She spent the morning at W.O Parmer and Greenville Elementary. We went to the mayor’s office and visited with him.”

Bailey has lived with Stanford in Wetumpka since she was 10 weeks old.

“I work with her everyday, we go over basic commands. I am teaching her to lead and heel on my left side,” said Stanford.

Fostering Bailey includes taking Bailey wherever Stanford goes.

“Then days we aren’t going places, she likes to take naps,” she added. “She loves to play with her tennis ball and my husband’s German shepherd, Dallas. […] If I go to the grocery store or shopping, she pretty much goes where I go.”

Stanford has worked specifically with dogs for the past three years.

“I started my own obedient training around the Greenville area in 2015,” she said. “I grew up on a farm in Pineapple and worked with cattle. In 2015, I realized I like working with dogs.”

Working privately for three years, the position with Service Dogs Alabama became available.

“I did that for three years and this position came open. Last summer I began writing for them and they hired me in November.”

Stanford attended Greenville Academy and graduated from Auburn University of Montgomery with a degree in Public Relations.

She now serves as foster care volunteer, as well as the media consultant for Bailey at Service Dogs Alabama.

Service Dogs Alabama located in Hope Hull is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing medical and psychiatric assistance for veterans with disabilities, children, and adults.

When explaining the placement process for Bailey, Stanford said, “She is going to be placed. When we find out what she is proficient in we will place her. She will be placed with a diabetic, a person dealing with seizures, autism, and many other categories.”

Overall, the experience for Stanford has impacted her life. She said, “It’s been an honor and so much fun to raise Bailey and know I had a part in helping her become a service dog. I know she will make a difference and play a special part in someone else’s life one day.”