Making the Grade | National Great Pyrenees Rescue

As an experienced foster mom to Great Pyrenees dogs, Barbara Schneider agreed to take 18-month-old Quincy in—even though his previous owners complained he was "out of control." As it turns out, Quincy was simply a little bit undersocialized. "I don't think he had ever ridden in a car, nor worn a leash. And for the first two weeks, I had to approach him backwards or he would move away."

Since Barbara was nearing her elder years, she hired a professional to take Quincy through basic obedience training. "After a short time, I had totally fallen in love," she admits, "so I stopped trying to find a new home for him and called him mine." And that's when Quincy ventured into higher education.

Barbara and Quincy were accepted into a three-month-long program with the Delta Society, through which they were certified as a pet therapy team. By the time they started visiting a school where children read to Quincy, the gentle giant had been with Barbara for 15 months. "He adored the kids," Barbara recalls. "He was tolerant of costumes, too, including hats and glasses, and he loved to have the children hug and pet him."

Quincy.
Quincy
Seven months later, when Barbara needed a Mobility Assist Dog, guess who was her first choice? "This time Quincy went for his Ph.D.," she smiles. "After two months of training, he's become my constant companion everywhere I go. He's my wonderful four-legged cane. And now that he has three advanced degrees—a B.A. in Basic Obedience, a Masters in Therapy Training and a Ph.D. in Assistance Dog Training—shopping takes me a bit longer. People stop me constantly to admire my beautiful, well-mannered dog!"