MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

March 3, 2014

'72 Cutlass being raffled to benefit service dogs

By E.I. Hillin
Phoenix Staff Writer

— A local dog trainer is offering a chance to win a 1972 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme convertible in a raffle for a unique cause.

“It will benefit directly the maintenance and training of service dogs,” said Marj Satterfield, a professional dog trainer.

Tickets are $100 each and can only be purchased online. There is a limit of 600 tickets to be sold. The deadline to enter is April 18.

The raffle is sponsored by Glad Wags Inc., a nonprofit division of Marj the Dog Trainer, a company that trains service dogs.

Satterfield has been training dogs since 1974. Marj the Dog Trainer is her dog training business.

“I’ve been funding this myself for a couple of years,” Satterfield said.

The car, which is pictured on Glad Wags’ website, www.gwraffle.com, was donated to Satterfield by a client.

“One of my students that I helped with a really difficult dog thought it would be a good way to help me out,” Satterfield said.

The dogs she trains are mainly from shelters, Satterfield said. The dogs are tested before they can begin training.

“There is a test for work ethic,” Satterfield said. “Dogs that can handle pressure and work; they can assist 24 hours a day.”

The service dogs Satterfield trains are used to assist people, including those who are visually impaired or have hearing loss.

Satterfield said service dogs also can be very beneficial to those with autism, those confined to wheelchairs, or those who have post-traumatic stress disorder.

One of Satterfield’s students, Keyley Bolding, uses her service dog, Maddie, every day. Keyley, 14, has cerebral palsy, a disorder that directly affects movement.

Satterfield said Keyley now “does presentations about service dogs. Her self- confidence has increased.”

Maddie, a tan cocker spaniel, was Keyley’s pet before she started training as her service dog.

“It’s made a big difference in her speech, giving commands,” Satterfield said.

Keyley said that Maddie helps her with many tasks.

“She’ll take my socks off, pick up coloring books, cell phones, and TV remotes,” Keyley said.

Maddie isn’t only a service dog but a companion in Keyley’s life.

“She keeps me calm when I get upset,” Keyley said.

Satterfield said the money raised from the raffle will make a huge difference.

“We’ve sold 40 already in a week. People are buying them three at a time, five at a time,” Satterfield said.

One ticket buyer took advantage of a special “buy 10 for $800” offer.

“I’m just thrilled,” Satterfield said.

The drawing will take place April 19 at the conclusion of a poker run at Tulsa’s American Legion Hall Post No. 1.

Reach E.I. Hillin at (918) 684-2926 or ehillin@muskogeephoenix.com.

What to do

WHAT: Glad Wags raffle for service dogs.

WHEN: Enter to win now through April 18.

WHERE: Tickets can only be purchased online at www.gwraffle.com.

INFORMATION: Marj Satterfield, (918) 504-1764.