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Monday, November 29, 2021

Kevin Babington's support dog Samantha

By Puppy Raiser Lindsay Brock on Samantha


“How is she around the horses?” This was the first question Kevin asked about Samantha, the dog that will one day become his mobility support service dog.

Kevins support dog SamanthaKevin's support dog SamanthaMy honest response was that socializing her with horses was the easiest part of her training.

It was almost as if she knew these very large dogs would be a significant part of her life.

She has assisted with turnout (from a leash), sat quietly ringside, and today she breezes through any horse show like it’s her world and we are just living in it.

Let’s be honest, judging by the number of times her presence is met with, “oh my gosh, is that Kevin’s dog Samantha?,” it really is her world.

When she got to meet Kevin for the first time while in Wellington this winter, she was a picture of professionalism despite my anxiety that her training would inexplicably disappear in the moment I had been thinking about for months.


THE QUESTIONS that raced through my mind over and over were “will he be impressed?” “will she behave?,” “what if she misses a command?,” “please don’t bark!”

Kevins Samantha w. horse Andrew RybackSamantha (Photo by Andrew Ryback)If Samantha could talk, she would have probably said, “chill, girl….I got this,” and she would have been right.

She hopped into his van and sat next to his chair on command like she knew she belonged there.

Samantha accepted her place as a horse show service dog quickly during her first season at the Winter Equestrian Festival and is now settling in at the Traverse City Horse Shows in Michigan.

You can catch up on her journey to becoming Kevin’s service dog on Instagram by following @raisingsamantha, staying tuned for more updates, or come find us at the horse show!

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