Oct 22, 2012
Mike Chasse is a Canine Companions for Independence graduate in Maine I’ve mentioned before (“The Super Dog Is… Caleb!”) who makes a tremendous point today – in his usual funny way by telling a story about an encounter with a little girl in the grocery store – about the “huge responsibility of being a handy-capable person with a service dog” (“Caleb the Seeing Eye dog… Say Wha?“):
I think all of us who benefit from this tremendous bond, the companionship of these animals that
… Read More
Oct 7, 2012
Wounded US Army veteran Jeff Adams and his Canine Companions for Independence Service Dog Sharif. “Taking Action: Volunteers Needed To Raise Service Dogs”
I probably should’ve written this post a thousand times and haven’t, mostly because I can always hear people already saying “it’s not that simple.”
It isn’t, and yet it is – hence the title of this post. Here goes:
1. Decide what you want a service dog to do for you.
2. Decide where you will get the dog – an organization, individual trainer, or do-it-yourself.
3. … Read More
Jun 19, 2012
Fantastic picture of Canine Companions for Independence Northeast Region instructor Stacey Szpyt and Fiore during a demo they did at the annual Sails & Tails event in Annapolis in April. Fiore was still in training at the time; he graduated in May as a Service Dog.
There are a lotta other great Nikki Davis Photography pictures of the demo and the event in the Sails & Tails Facebook album – definitely check them out – but lemme tell you why this one jumped at me.
It takes 3 1/2 … Read More
Jun 7, 2012
“Service Dog Helps Injured Marine Gain Independence”
Based on some of the questions and e-mails I get, I’m not sure this is clear to everybody, and some recent stories allow me to make it clear, and maybe help you out and save you some time.
If you think it’s a good idea to train, or maybe you are even looking for, a Jack Russell you can wear in a harness while you ride your motorcycle so you’ll be able to take him everywhere and he can help with your post-traumatic … Read More
Jun 5, 2012
“Retired U.S. Army Capt. James Van Thach, who was seriously wounded in Iraq, recently completed a training course with his assistance dog Liz from Canine Companions for Independence.” “Dog helps Queens disabled veteran”
Two foundations I greatly respect came to basically the same conclusion – pretty obvious common theme here:
The Mission Continues:
“Many veterans struggle to find the same purpose at home as they found in the mission, camaraderie and structure of the military. The Mission Continues does not offer charity; rather, it challenges returning service members to
… Read More
Apr 24, 2012
You will likely never read anything more well written about what it’s like to get a successor dog from Canine Companions for Independence than this latest post from Marianne McKiernan about Randi Price (both are friends of mine in Denver) just going through the process.
“Rocket’s DogBlog- New Beginnings”
That’s where that comment comes from, and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard one of my service dog graduate friends say something just like that.
I say all the time that the most important overlooked thing when someone’s … Read More
Apr 8, 2012
“Canine Companions for Independence’s Ellen Torop Talks About Service Dogs from Nose to Tail!”
I’ve never heard a better interview about Canine Companions for Independence than this new podcast at Working Like Dogs with Ellen Torop, legendary long-time CCI Northeast Region Program Manager.
If you have any interest in service dogs in general, and CCI in particular, especially if you’re interested in applying for a dog yourself or know someone who might be interested in applying, you absolutely want to listen to it, and likely more than once.
Not only … Read More
Mar 9, 2012
If you’re looking for a service dog, Try CCI First.
That’s it – the whole message. Try CCI First.
Sure, there are tons of things I can tell you. and lots I’ve already written here, but if there’s one thing I can leave you with, and you remember nothing else I say, remember that: Try CCI First. That simple.
Now, there are good reasons why CCI may not be the place for you, and it’s not for everybody (a service dog, period, is not for everybody) – it’s a lot … Read More
Feb 19, 2012
I got a kick outta this response from a trainer in the Toronto Sun yesterday – definitely pretty straight-up, but not obnoxious:
“Guide-dog trainer needs more guidance”
I got news for you – it’s not just in Canada, and there’s probably enough material there for five posts, but I’m only gonna address one key thing he mentions: breeds for use as service dogs:
“A certified pre-adult fine-boned 12″ breed known for physical frailty? Opening a dryer and then emptying it requires repeatedly jumping twice its body height. Even just hopping
… Read More
Dec 9, 2010
If you want to be involved in the service dog world, one of the first things you better understand right up front is that it’s a serious business. And if you can’t do that, please – find something else to be involved in.
Sure, you do it because you love it, it’s a great thing, a lotta fun, very worthwhile and meaningful. But you gotta use your head and not let your heart override it, and that means making some decisions and doing some things that aren’t so much fun … Read More