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Local Love’s Travel Stops Location Assists in Service Dog Training

Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores of Joplin recently hosted a Public Access Test for a local service dog named Thunder. Thunder recently completed months of training to become a certified service dog to assist his new friend, Courtney. Thunder was awarded to Courtney and her family last year through Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals’ Miracle Service Dog Program. He will be able to assist with her mobility challenges and alert her to dangerous situations she may not recognize due to a hearing impairment.

The donor-funded Miracle Service Dog Program awards up to two service dogs a year to area children to assist in a variety of ways, including pressure therapy, mobility issues, seizure detection and more.After their specialty training, each service dog must complete a Public Access Test, which is to ensure that dogs certified as service dogs are well-behaved and able to perform their trained behaviors in a public setting. The test is also used to demonstrate that the handler has control over the dog and that the dog responds appropriately to insure there is no threat to the public from the dog. To learn more about the Miracle Service Dog Program, visit