It’s International Assistance Dog Week. According to the IADW website, the week was created to recognize all the devoted, hardworking assistance dogs helping individuals mitigate their disability-related limitations. The goals are to:
- Recognize and honor assistance dogs
- Raise awareness and educate the public about assistance dogs
- Honor puppy raisers and trainers
- Recognize heroic deeds performed by assistance dogs in our communities
Click here for a full list of IADW events this week and weekend across the world.
I recently had the pleasure of holding a litter of 12 six week old puppies from Canine Companions for Independence, the largest assistance dog organization in the world. CCI provides highly-trained assistance dogs for children and adults with disabilities, free of charge. Their website states: “The most advanced technology capable of transforming the lives of people with disabilities has a cold nose and a warm heart!”
My friend, Lisa Walker, is a breeder caretaker for CCI. All four paws up to Lisa and her family for helping bring these beautiful service dog puppies into the world.
I received an email from a friend this week who has been eagerly waiting to hear whether he was approved for an assistance dog from CCI. I had tears in my eyes as I read that he passed the application process and is now on their waiting list. I can hardly wait to see how much freedom his new dog will give him.
Sanchez (pictured above as a puppy) and Gina are both career change dogs from Guide Dogs for the Blind. As a former volunteer puppy raiser for Guide Dogs, I have a soft place in my heart for all the service dogs who are hard at work and who just delight in a job well done. Four paws up to all of them.
Do you have a service dog or personally know any? How have they affected your life and of others you know? Thanks for sharing your story in a comment below.
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