Herald JournalWinsted-Lester Prairie Journal, Nov. 18, 2002

A new dog for Darlene

By Ryan Gueningsman

Lilly, the newest addition to the Darlene Heuer household, came home for the first time last Monday evening.

The daschund was given to Heuer, and Orville Heldt who lives with Heuer, to assist them with hearing because they are both partially deaf.

The Lester Prairie Lions learned of a program that places dogs in homes, and trains them to respond to things like a door bell, telephone, smoke detector, alarm clock, and intruders.

Heuer and Heldt had a dog in the past to help them with such things, but that dog passed away last summer because of age.

With the help of Hearing and Service Dogs of Minnesota (HSDM), the Lester Prairie Lions were able to get Lilly for Heuer and Heldt at no charge to them.

"The local Lions sponsor HSDM, and we arranged for the dog to be brought here at no charge to the people that get her, or even our own local Lions," said Lester Prairie Lions President Jim Moller. "It's done with donations from throughout the entire state Lions program."

When the dog arrived at Heuer's home, it was basically untrained, with the exception of potty-training. A trainer will come several times a week to work with Lilly, as well as the owners of the dog, and train her to respond to different things.

"We picked her up at a foster home in Minneapolis, and she barked real aggressively," Moller said. "She knew what was her turf."

Now Lilly will have a whole new "turf" to cover as she begins working with Heuer and Heldt at their home.

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