There is one thing all Americans love: Labrador Retrievers. In fact, the lab is the most popular dog breed in America. Dogs in general seem to calm people. From a Grandma that lives alone to a blind person that needs help getting around, a dog can be a life saver ... literally. Scott Dewey from Iowa has spent much of his adult life training labs and knows how smart labs can be and what kind of impact they can have on a person’s life. Recently he took his love for dog training in a new direction. “My friend Charles Dwyer and I saw the need for trained dogs that could help veterans with post traumatic stress syndrome, children with autism and adults and children with diabetes,” Dewey said. “We started Retrieving Freedom to provide service dogs for people with these issues.”
One thing that separates Retrieving Freedom from other groups that train service dogs is they want dogs that have prey drive that can hunt and retrieve. “Most groups that train service dogs have bred the prey drive right out of them. They don’t want a dog that has drive. We have a background in training hunting dogs and we want our dogs to want to hunt and retrieve. Some of our veterans take their dogs shed hunting. Others hunt with the dog at their side. Hunting with a dog has a calming effect on the veterans,” Dewey said.
Taking a wild and crazy puppy and turning it into a fully trained service dog is a lot of work. Training dogs also requires lots of money. Redneck Blinds recently teamed up with Retrieving Freedom to help them raise the funds they need to train dogs. “We have a large facility for training and full-time trainers. We are always in need of funds to keep our operation running. People who are receiving the dogs don’t pay a dime for them so having a corporate partner like Redneck Blinds is a big help,” Dewey added.
To help raise funds for Retrieving Freedom, Redneck Blinds recently donated a tower blind that was given away at an archery shoot that was a fundraiser for Retrieving Freedom. “The shoot took place at Blackhawk Archers in Laport City, Iowa. We had about 80 shooters this year. The grand prize was a Redneck Blind which created lots of buzz. Each competitor must pay $100 so an event like this helps us raise the money we need to train dogs. These dogs really change people’s lives which is what Retrieving Freedom is all about. We couldn’t do it without sponsors,” Dewey explained.
Retrieving Freedom is looking for corporate sponsors as well as puppies. “We have many people who donate Labrador puppies to us which helps lower our costs. We have many people who donate money. It all helps,” Dewey noted.
If you know of a veteran or disabled person in need of a service dog or would like to donate to Retrieving Freedom, which is a 501-c3 nonprofit, visit RetrievingFreedom.com.