STRONGSVILLE, Ohio — Wags 4 Warriors does public access training every week at SouthPark Mall in Strongsville. Roxy has progressed so well in her own training that she got the greenlight to join the group.
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“SouthPark Mall has been great," says Roxy's handler, Kayla DeLorenzo. "Wags 4 Warriors does public access training here a lot. Once or twice a week. They have been so cooperative throughout the whole process, and the mall is great because it has everything in one. It’s got kids, it’s big and loud in here. Food concessions, too. So it’s a big distraction all the way around."
Glass barriers on the upper level are also very similar to what dogs will encounter when they go to the Veterans Administration in Wade Park.
DeLorenzo made a point of having Roxy walk up to the glass and look through it, even tapping on the glass and laying next to it so that she was comfortable.
“We want to put her up against the glass to look out, because at the Wade Park VA they have glass walls like this and glass stairs. You want them to be comfortable with the height and be OK with it. The VA is a place that the veterans will go to a lot."
Another stop was the food concession area. DeLorenzo had Roxy lay beneath a table. She moved chairs, which made loud scraping noises and could easily be unsettling to a dog.
“You don’t want her to get scared with all the noises and someone bumping into her, and in the food court there are so many smells you don't want her to eat anybody's food so that's a great place to train at."