The Magic of Service Dogs │ MobilityDog

The Magic of Service Dogs │ MobilityDog


The Magic of Service Dogs │ MobilityDog

Service dogs are companion animals that can help people with physical or mental conditions. They are professionally trained dogs that can perform specific tasks depending on their owner’s individual needs. 

They’re special companion animals capable of offering support and guidance to people with disabilities. Though, many people still seem to forget about them despite their significant role in one’s healing. 


Commending Service Dogs

The Magic of Service Dogs │ MobilityDog

According to Janie Lynn Heinrich, the CEO of MobilityDog,

“A lot of people seem to think that service dogs are robots. But what they don’t realize is that when they go home, they play.”

Service dogs are more than just animals that are tasked to help people in need. They are excellent and loyal companions that will be with you every step of your healing. 

People with mobility disabilities have innovative gadgets to aid them, like wheelchairs, walkers, and arm crutches, but they might not be the healthiest option available. While these are all great devices, they require the person to lean and hunch over, which isn’t the most helpful for those with mobility issues. 

That is not the case with service dogs, however. With a service dog’s help, you can stand in a more natural position to walk and sit. 

Service dogs play a significant role in helping mitigate a person’s disability or mobility. They help those physically limited and in wheelchairs by guiding them and helping them carry items or fetch things outside their reach. 

With their help, you can work your cores and get the blood flowing all over your body. 

 “So, it is just healthier. It helps people heal and get to a higher plateau of healing that a lot of times our medical team has told us is not going to happen.”


The Present and Future of MobilityDog

The Magic of Service Dogs │ MobilityDog

“A lot of people were in the same situation as mine that needed a dog. It makes all the difference.”

Janie started MobilityDog to help people in situations that are similar to her. It began in 2018 and has continuously and steadily grown since. Currently, they have 24 service dog teams that are active and ready to help!

“We have a community with 72 volunteers. We are also in the process of starting a fundraising for the Center of Excellence.”

MobilityDog aims to reach out to a community of people with mobility disabilities to help them achieve functional independence and live more vibrant lives. They raise, train, and match service dogs with people with mobility disabilities. 

They offer wellness training, support, and education to people in need and help them navigate and conquer obstacles they encounter and face daily. Moreover, MobiilityDog is vital in educating community organizations and businesses about the role of service dog teams. 

MobilityDog also has educational programs (WAG and PAWS that Empower) that support the educational process in businesses, schools, and the community. 

The company’s primary goal is to reach as many people as possible to spread its goal, mission, and values. 


MobilityDog also has an upcoming fundraiser event, Poodle Palooza, on September 24, 2022. It is a virtual event that aims to raise funds and awareness for its cause and goal. 

The Magic of Service Dogs │ MobilityDog

You may check out the details about the event at

Their website also contains all information regarding their services. Drop by if you’re interested to know more about service dogs! 

Have suggestions for who we should interview next?

Send us a message at [email protected]!

Janie: My name is Janie Heinrich. You’re tuned in to The Animal Innovations Show.

Chris: Awesome introduction.

So, Janie, tell us who you are and how you’re innovating and helping animals.

Janie: I’m in Southern California.

A few years back, a little over 11 years ago, I had a spinal cord injury, and my physical therapist told me that I was so stubborn, I really needed to have a service dog.

And so I was honored—We had a two-year-old standard poodle named, Phoebe that my children had given me for my 50th birthday.

A service dog trainer came and trained Phoebe to work with me, got me out of my wheelchair. And what I’ve learned is, no matter how well trained a dog is, it’s important that you never forget that they’re a dog and that you allow them to run and to play and to have all the energy.

A lot of people seem to think that service dogs are robots, but what they don’t realize is that when they go home, they play. 

And the reason that we choose service dogs, the reason that they’re so wonderful for mobility disabilities and all disabilities— but I’m going to focus in on mobility because that’s our specialty, is that we have arm crutches and we have wheelchairs and we have walkers, and we have all these great devices that we’re so grateful and so thankful for.

But with them, then we’re leaning over stuff. We’re hunching over. But with a service dog, you’ve got them at your side so, you’re able to stand in a more natural position for humans to walk.

And so, you’re counterbalancing and you’re working your cores, you’re working, you’re getting the blood flowing up and down and all over.

So, it just is healthier, and it helps us heal and get to a higher plateau of healing that a lot of times our medical team has told: This isn’t going to happen.

Chris: So, now tell us more. What are you doing with MobilityDog? How did the idea come out? What do you guys do?

Janie: I found Beckett and realized that there were lots of people in my situation. They were either too young, so they were in their 20s or 30s. They have various difficulties. And then, people that were over 55, who were not being given a dog because of their age.

We started Mobility Service Dogs in 2018, and we now have 24 service dog teams. And we’re going to be celebrating our 5th birthday in January.

And it’s pretty amazing.

We have a community with 72 volunteers, and we’re in the process of starting fundraising for The Center of Excellence.

Chris: So, tell me more about that. What is The Center of Excellence going to be?

Janie: So, The Center of Excellence is— we get the dogs, the dogs start their training—We bring in textures, cement, pebbles, rocks, grates, and they play with their buddies on all these different materials, and then they’re raised at the puppy raisers.

They stay with them until they’re 18 months old. So, for 16 months, they get basic etiquette. They learn how to live in a home. They learn how to have nice manners, walk, socialize, walk into every situation that is like, no big deal, sirens coming down, it’s okay, all these different things, and they learn how to alert.

And with poodles, they’re super analytical. So, we do take a lot of poodle rescues that are a lot of people come to us and bring us poodles.

And if they’re a dog that will work for us, we keep them. And if they’re a dog that is just going to be a better pet, we find them amazing homes.

So, we’ve gotten to do a lot of rescue work. I shouldn’t say a lot, but a fair amount of rescue work. And it’s just been— and the people and the energy is just so passionate and wonderful.

Chris: Now, do you guys train— particular dogs for particular conditions? I mean, are all types of service dogs—

Janie: So, we work with mobility, but we also work with mobility disabilities. So, if somebody has seizures or if they have a heart issue that’s part of their—part of what’s going on with them then they will alert to all those different—but our specialty is mobility.

So, it’s usually— we work with a lot of quadriplegic, paraplegic, parkinson’s, MS: multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, stroke, and different things along that line.

Chris: So, you kind of decided: hey, I need to make a difference here. And that’s where the idea of MobilityDog was born.

Janie: It was, it was there was a lot of people in my same situation that needed a dog. It makes all the difference.

I am able to do so many things, because I have a backup. And then if I start to fall, he knows I’m going to fall.

And he braces, and it’s like, oh, I’m going to fall. Okay, as I’m going down, thank you, buddy. I’m glad you were paying attention.

So— picks up things. Some of our dogs call 911. They do a medical alert for the person, and they’ll get them down.

They’ll realize that they’re going to be at a heart or be at blood sugar or be it a seizure, whatever the case may be, and they will put their paw on their knee, and the people know that they need to listen, and they’ll lay down.

They’ll get the person in a safe position, and then they’ll go and press the 911 button.

And the fire department, they know— the emergency services know that those connected up with the service dog and they know how much time they have and exactly what’s going on.

Chris: Wow. 

Janie: It’s amazing.

Chris: Yeah, that is amazing. And you said, how many dogs do you have, that are actively in service right now? What’s your vision? Where do you take your organization?

Janie: So, right now, we do a lot of education.

We have PAWS That Empower, and we have WAG, and we go into the community businesses.

We take Wags and teach them about what a real service dog is and what a fraudulent service dog looks like. That’s somebody who just wants their pet to go everywhere with them and they’re not trained.

Chris: I like the fact that you’re very focused on building a community for the people and animals that you’re supporting, but then also educating, but in a kind and gentle way, right.

So, it’s not shaming. It’s not anything like that. It’s very much approaching from a—hey, let me help you understand, and being very empathetic.

Janie: Our goal is just to get as many people as possible.

Chris: Well, Janie, I love everything that you’re doing, and I love the fact that you saw an opportunity, a need, and you just said, listen, I’m going to go figure this out and look at how you’ve grown and where you guys are headed.

Is there anything else you wanted to mention before we wrap things up today?

Janie: We’ve got our Poodle Palooza coming up. Our Poodle Palooza is our huge fundraiser. So, yeah, that’s all on our website.


Chris: As I wrap up our show here, I love to remind our viewers and listeners that—you know, it always starts with an idea, something that you either have a product or service or, like Janie is doing, building an organization that helps other people that have similar challenges.

And it’s all about animals, right. That’s why we do this.

So, if you’ve got an idea, if you know of a product or service or somebody we should talk to, please go to INNOVATIONS.SHOW, and we’d love to them on the show and talk about it.

And don’t forget to sign up to be a Dooberteer, just go to DOOBERT.COM, where you can be a foster or transporter.

There are so many different ways that you can help out or rescue animal friends, and we’d, of course, be glad to have you.

So, Janie, thank you so much for coming on and sharing. Really excited what you’re doing and looking forward to see where you’re going to take it next.

Janie: Thank you so much. And thanks for what you’re doing. I appreciate you highlighting us with all the work we’re doing for animals.

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