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Owner thinks rescue Shiba doesn’t like her, what she learns could teach us all

Rescue owner learns a lot from her new dog dog-happy
© Buttons the Service Shiba - Facebook

In October 2011, Regina Lizik received the news she had been waiting for; her application to adopt a rescue dog had been successful and she was soon to be the proud owner of a Shiba Inu named Buttons. So far, so good, but her experience was not all plain sailing.

By Natasha James

Published on the 19/09/2019, 17:00, Updated on the 19/12/2019, 15:23

A difficult start

Regina excitedly took Buttons home but was distraught to find that he cried all night long, barely stopping for breath. He was very nervous too and seemed terrified at the idea of leaving the house or going for walks. Poor Buttons would spend most of his time hiding under the kitchen table as that’s where he felt safest.


While we were in NY, Buttons took his guide dog duties to the extreme and decided to drive.

Posted by Buttons the Service Shiba on Wednesday, June 26, 2019

A hard week

After a difficult first week, Regina made the heart-breaking decision to contact the shelter and tell them that it didn’t seem to be working. Buttons could not settle and she didn’t know if she was an experienced enough owner to help him. Thankfully, the shelter gave Regina some helpful advice and recommended that she try for a little longer.

Poor Regina thought that the problem was her and that nervous Buttons was unhappy because he didn’t like her. In truth, of course, any dog needs time to adjust to new owners, especially rescue dogs. The adaptation process is bound to take time, a pooch needs time to learn where everything is and get used to their new surroundings.

A new technique

Once she understood this, Regina decided to be much more gentle and patient with her new pooch. She started by talking to him gently, taking him on very short walks and in essence letting him get used to her in his own time.

And then, one day, the unexpected happened; as Regina got into bed, shy Buttons jumped up and snuggled next to her!

Visually impaired due to an illness, Regina needed a service dog to help her and even though Buttons didn't meet the usual criteria, he gradually learned to help his human and became her eyes when she needed him.

Today, Regina and Buttons are inseparable and thanks to her loving dog, she has regained her freedom.

Buttons Helping Me Down Stairs

Been a long time since we've done a video of Buttons actually working. These are the steps outside of our house. I'm used to them now, but when we first moved in, they were very dangerous for me. We also go over the equipment we use and how it works. The leash is from Leashboss. One of the key factors in Buttons being a great guide dog is his patience. It's on full display in this video. And if you're wondering why my hands are purple, no it's not a filter. It's my poor circulation due to my disorder. My hands are always freezing and sometimes hurt like hell, but don't worry, they won't fall off or anything. :) (and ugh, I meant to say "bridge strap" and not "mobility strap" in the video, although maybe the latter is also correct.)

Posted by Buttons the Service Shiba on Wednesday, May 3, 2017