2018 Convention


We’re now accepting sponsors for 2018; contact us for details.


Attendees smile in a circle discussion at the 2017 PSDP Convention

Smiling friendships and inclusive openness are plentiful at PSDP conventions

Good times and good friends await you in Solvang, California! Our 2018 Convention returns us to a familiar haunt. Consult your calendar now for the first *full* weekend in April!

The quaint, walkable Danish town of Solvang features a diverse choice of eateries and shopping opportunities, with green spaces at regular intervals for nature lovers (and the canine call of nature). Solvang is flagrantly tourist-oriented and a mild-weathered, international vacation destination, sporting Nordic-seeming architecture, neo-Nordic culture, and cosmopolitan consumers. The area is reminiscent of a theme park, but without an admission price, all with a splash of wine country thrown in!

Solvang sits roughly eight miles inland from the Pacific Ocean amid a region halfway between the major coastal California population centers, making it drivable for several prospective attendees. For those not able or inclined to drive the whole distance, minor and major airports and train stations dot the region.

Registration

Our convention activities begin Friday evening on April 6th in the Legion Wing of the Veterans Memorial Building at the end of the main drag in Solvang, California. We’ll keep you engaged throughout the weekend on the 7th and 8th. Most attendees prefer to arrive or depart with an extra day or two, both to recover from the stress of travel and especially to spend more quality time with loving peers. This especially includes a traditional Monday morning breakfast together.

Registration is not yet open, but you can visit our 2017 Convention Registration page for pointers on what it takes to be part of an unforgettable experience.

Info packet

Closer to the convention, we will feature new info packet sections every week or so leading up to the convention, so you can keep checking back to stay up-to-date. You can check out the whole (pdf) info packet for the *2017* convention below, as the 2018 one will be very similar:

2017 Convention Info Packet

What’s it like?

PSDP conventions are times to network with service dog handlers through workshops, training, and support. For a taste of what they’re like, enjoy the quotations below and the 2016 convention pictures and videos, and find more on the pages of previous conventions.


Group photo at the 2017 PSDP Convention

Your community is waiting to welcome you!

Our 2017 convention was rated 4.836 / 5 overall by convention-goers! They had the following to pass along to those considering joining us at future conventions:

This was my first convention and I can honestly say “that meeting the other attendees has changed my life for the better” If at all possible I will be at next year’s convention. I found it to be a very profound experience. I had no idea meeting “my own kind” so to speak would affect me so deeply.

Meeting new people was better than I thought. Everyone was so accepting

The annual convention is like a family reunion I actually want to attend.

I loved meeting new convention goers. I made some good friendships.

I look forward to and save for the annual PSDP convention every year starting the day that the last convention is over. The conventions give me so much life, inspiration, hope, and education. For once I am the “normal” one. Everyone there understands my mental illness, and my service dog, and all are so supportive. The best part of my year!

This convention is really the only place where I am completely accepted, and understood, with my MI and my service dog.

I feel as if I belong when I am at the convention. I am not the weird person with a dog. I am part of a whole.

PSDP Convention is a great way to grow as a service dog team. Yes, I was nervous going but the benefits sure outweighed the challenges of my MI. Everyone was so welcoming and understanding.

WONDERFUL convention – helped my husband understand & accept validity of benefits from my service dog

The convention is a meetup like no other, full of priceless experiences and surprisingly fast friendships. If you’re a PSD handler and want to know what home feels like, do an enormous favor for yourself and be sure you make it to a PSDP convention!

Wow! I’m left wanting more and plan to attend all the future PSDP conventions I can.

Great work planning committee! See y’all in California!