by Nancy E. Hassel, LIPetPlace.com
Earlier today, I had the honor of going to the Northeast Region of Canine Companions for Independence (CCI) graduation ceremony. I arrived a little late, so they were already in the ballroom of the Marriott in Islandia, and when I opened the door to the back of the room I was not expecting to see a packed ballroom of people and many amazing dogs! I thought the graduation was just for the LI Chapter – but there were puppy raisers and dogs there from all over the northeast.
Canine Companions for Independence graduation ceremonies honor people with disabilities placed with specially trained assistance dogs nationwide.
This celebration marks the end of an assistance dog’s professional training and the beginning of a partnership between a human in need and a canine that will provide endless service and companionship.
Now I know it is hard to resist one of these puppy faces - but as cute and sweet as the dogs are, they serve such an amazing purpose to help someone with a disability live their everyday lives with assistance and love from these dogs. They do tasks that makes my Max saying, “I wuv you” sound silly.
The dogs are trained in over 40 commands and are capable of opening doors, flipping light switches, picking up dropped items, alerting their partner of important sounds and many more helpful services. These commands enable a person with a disability to function without relying on the help of another person, enhancing their independence.
As the puppy raises were going up to stage with the dogs they have just raised for the past 1.5 years – some had just started and had their first dog, and a few others were recognized as they have raised over 20 puppies for CCI. It is not just about puppy raising there are many facets that go into making the dogs a success at CCI. We are lucky to have the Northeast Region Miller Family Campus right here on Long Island, in Medford. I will be going for a tour soon of the campus and can’t wait to see everything they do.
For more information on CCI or how you can become involved go to: Canine Companions for Independence.
Tom the 3rd a puppy being raised by CCI on the North Fork of LI!
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.