Canine Companions for Independence

Everybody’s Got Cute Puppies

New Canine Companions for Independence Facility Dog Archie at Caring People Alliance in Philadelphia.

New Canine Companions for Independence Facility Dog Archie at Caring People Alliance in Philadelphia. (Photo from their Facebook page.)

A good Canine Companions for Independence graduate friend of mine nailed things a few years ago when, completely unprompted by me, he pointed to his service dog and said to me, very emphatically, “Everybody’s got cute puppies, but they don’t have this.”

I knew exactly what he meant, and he’s exactly right.

Every assistance dog organization I know of posts puppy photos and stories – nothing unique there. So if you’re looking to … Read More

Visibility Turns Into Exposure In A Heartbeat

Nanc Patterson and her Canine Companions for Independence Service Dog Mahler invite you to the 6th Annual CCI Sails & Tails Fundraiser in Annapolis, Maryland on April 27, 2014. http//cci.org/st2014My dear friends Nanc Patterson and her Canine Companions for Independence Service Dog Mahler are the epitome of an outstanding assistance dog team. Nanc has a firm grasp on every concept I discuss in this post, lives it daily, and has very successfully – and normally very quietly – advocated for herself and Mahler on numerous occasions. (Photo is from the invitation for the Sixth Annual CCI Sails & Tails event in Annapolis on April 27, 2014.)

“Visibility turns into exposure in a heartbeat.”

Not a new concept – at least not to me – … Read More

Some Friends Of Mine In Washington DC Today

Canine Companions for Independence senior staff visit to Congress. John Libonati; Paul Mundell, CCI National Director of Canine Programs; Mike Hartsky with Puppy in Program Spike; Nanc Patterson with her Service Dog Mahler; Corey Hudson, CCI CEO; Debbie Dougherty, Northeast Region Executive Director.

Another photo that’s really just too good to pass up posting here – some good friends of mine at the Hart Senate Office Building during their Canine Companions for Independence Congressional visit in Washington, DC today.

Left to right: John Libonati; Paul Mundell, CCI National Director of Canine Programs; Mike Hartsky with Puppy in Program Spike; Nanc Patterson with her Service Dog Mahler; Corey Hudson, CCI CEO; Debbie Dougherty, Northeast Region Executive Director.

Why I’m Still Here

Lighhouse on a stormy night 550x330

I’ll always be involved with service dogs, especially for veterans, but I can’t promise you’ll see me here writing about it.

It’s simply too important an issue not to be involved, and is bigger than any one of us individually or all of us combined. But my focus professionally is shifting a little because I’m now actively pursuing a veterans affairs director position at a college or university.

I had a military friend of mine tell me a few months ago that “You’re the lighthouse. There are thousands of people out there looking for what … Read More

“There Is No Better Feeling Than To Help Someone Feel More Independent”

Canine Companions for Independence Instructor Jamie Toliver.

“Meet An Assistance Dog Trainer: Canine Companions of Independence”

Nice interview in honor of International Assistance Dog Week with Jamie Toliver, a Canine Companions for Independence instructor at the Northwest Regional Center, which is co-located with the National Headquarters in Santa Rosa, CA.

It’s not unheard of to see an interview with a CCI instructor, but it doesn’t happen all that often, either, and it’s great to see this one, particularly since Jamie’s been doing this for 5+ years now.

Lotta good insights here for anybody with an interest in assistance dogs, or, more specifically, … Read More