4 Paws Alaska
4 Paws for Ability Expands its Training Services
Peg Walsh Bernert, Training Director, 4 Paws Alaska
Peg Walsh Bernert has had a lifetime passion for all things pertaining to dogs, but it wasn’t until her 3-year-old autistic son Leo was lost and presumed drowned that she entered the service dog world.
That day, after her son was found safe and her heart had recovered, she realized that a trained dog could have tracked her son.
That’s the day she found 4 Paws for Ability. Since receiving her son’s service dog in 2007 Peg has been affiliated with 4 Paws as a client, foster puppy parent, and finally completed a training internship at 4 Paws in August of 2011. She lives in Anchorage, Alaska with her husband Dave, her four kids, and, of course, many dogs.
“Autism is a rocky road,” says Bernert. “Our service dog Halo evens out that road for us. She keeps our son safe, she comforts him, and she brings peace to our family. By training dogs in Autism Assistance, Seizure Alert, Hearing Alert, and Mobility Assistance, I hope to bring the magic of 4 Paws to other families and help to even out their rough roads.”
Bernert completed more than 1000 hours of training under the direct supervision at 4 Paws headquarters in Xenia, Ohio.
Alaska residents interested in obtaining approval for a service dog from 4 Paws for Ability will download the application to the main training center in Ohio.
Donating to help with Alaska Training Endeavor
Donations to help with our program in Alaska can be made through the website by indicating 4 Paws AK in the special instructions or by check through the main training center in Ohio with 4 Paws AK on the memo line.
People who would like to volunteer or help locally in Alaska can use the Contact Us page and indicate in the comments they would like to help out at our Alaska location, and we will have someone get back with them.
All photos on this page courtesy Oak Haven Photography, 5330 Belfast-Owensville Rd., Batavia, OH 45103