Melissa Mitchell chose Bastien in part because his Newfoundland/ Australian shepherd mix predisposed him to being gentle, medium-sized and energetic.

Melissa Mitchell chose Bastien in part because his Newfoundland/ Australian shepherd mix predisposed him to being gentle, medium-sized and energetic.

Starting with three basic commands and generous time and attention — and lots of biscuits and kisses — you can train your four-legged friend to eventually become the best medical device you have. Owner-training the dog eliminates time wasted on training school waiting lists and creates a steady routine of challenging your dog to learn new tasks as your needs change. Depending on your lifestyle and dog knowledge, there are several ways to owner-train your service dog.

One night several months ago, Melissa Mitchell, of Eugene, Ore., was aroused from sleep by her dog, Bastien, who was whining and running in circles. Bec