Today we’d like to introduce you to Alesone MacCormack.
Alesone, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I have always had a dog in my life starting from the day my parents brought me home from the hospital and I was met by our family’s Airedale Terrier, Gidget, waiting for me under my bassinet in my nursery. Gidget was my best friend and companion. She knew all my secrets, soothed away all my fears and nightmares. She accompanied me on all my adventures. She was the best Little John to my Robin Hood and didn’t care if I “got lost” in my own head and my own little world.
Gidget helped me through my childhood seizures and kept the lonely and very left out little girl that I was from feeling unwanted and overwhelmed. No one knew girls could be Autistic back in the early seventies. No one had any idea what most of my disabilities were back then. I didn’t even know what most of them were until 2012.
I was training my german shepherd, Tao, to be my medical alert dog for my Hypoglycemia, so it was very natural and easy for me to add more skillsets to his training to help mitigate my Asperger’s Syndrome (now considered part of Autism Spectrum Disorder), and my occasional Absent Seizures.
Dogs, their training, and care were and still is one of my special interests. I had begun my passion for all things dog with Gidget and it blossomed more and more with each new dog in my life. The only logical step was to do it as a profession.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Founding an organization and opening a new branch in a new city hasn’t been a smooth road, but Chosen2Serve is constantly evolving as we learn more and our clients present us with new challenges that they need their service dogs to help them mitigate. As Michelangelo said when he was in his seventies “Ancora imparo” which translates to “I am still learning.” I truly believe once we stop learning we stop living.
Like most people who come to LA, I had moved out here April 30, 2019, because a producer promised me a cooking show that would get Chosen2Serve out there, raise awareness about legitimate service dogs and all that they do for their disabled handlers while showing how to make healthy, cost-effective food for the humans and make a healthy treat for the dogs using some of the ingredients used to make the humans’ dishes. Needless to say, moving my life to LA cleared away the smoke and mirrors set up by that producer and I got back to focusing on training both service dogs and pets. Chosen2Serve, Inc. is growing despite the COVID-19 shutdown, and we are accepting applications for not just service dogs but also facility dogs, therapy dogs and we are still offering training for emotional support animals and pets. We also run workshops and classes for businesses, schools, and other nonprofits so they can learn their rights and how to interact with a service dog team in their place of business or organization in accordance with ADA law and Californa law.
Chosen2Serve, Inc becomes stronger and better able to serve the needs of our dogs, our clients, and our community with each new hurdle we overcome, each problem we find the solution to and any stumble we get up from, dust off our britches and rise above. Life is just too short to do it any other way.
Please tell us about Chosen2Serve. What else should we know?
Chosen2Serve, Inc. started as a Florida nonprofit on May 28, 2013. I offer service dog training to disabled individuals who were training their own dogs to become their service dogs and started training our first program dogs at the time. We became a 501(c)3 September 2018.
We now have two branches of our Program, one here in LA that I run, and another in Florida being run by Darlene Kinsey. We also have Chosen2Transport as a facet of our organization, devoted to the safe transport of all animals, not just service dogs. Darlene transports animals by van, with the animals safely riding in the pet crate they know from their own home to help them stay calm and protected. The routes are created based on where the animals needing transport are located and where they are being delivered to. The pandemic has caused us to evolve and add Chosen2Transport ahead of schedule.
Each of our prospects and program service dogs in training is tailored to their handler’s needs, and all of them are trained to help mitigate all of their handlers’ disabilities instead of only one.
I don’t want to sound clumsy in my asking but we truly do need sponsorship and donors to continue with our work raising and training service dogs for our disabled clients. We are also taking applications for clients to receive a task trained service dog, a trained facility dog, an emotional support dog/cat or to sign up for private training classes for the pet they already own.
Too bad we can’t put our wishes out there and a magical fairy godparent would grant us a larger space to train and live that has a fenced-in outside area for training and potty time., a vehicle for the transport service and a small SUV for us to use to go to training classes or pick up clients from the airport or appointments.
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
My favorite memory was when I was nine years old and was allowed to go play in the park by our house by myself. Gidget and I would spend countless summer days running through the woods and streams of that park. She was able to keep up with my imagination and was also quite happy to lay with me under the shady pines trees as I devoured yet another book. I really miss that sweet girl.
- Website: www.chosen2serve.org
- Phone: (352) 613-5580
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @chosen2serveinc
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/chosen2serve.org