Posts Tagged ‘guide dogs’

At the end of 2016, I mentioned in a blog post that I would limit my postings to original content, rather than re-posting familiar subjects. The Little Creek Veterinary Clinic Circle of Life post each month is an exception, as is the annual October Pet Blessing list. Since I’ve already made those exceptions, here’s another:

In 2011, I ran a post called Be a Hero – Train a Service Dog. Service dogs are, quite literally, life-savers for the people who depend on them, and they therefore deserve another turn in the spotlight. 

The original post featured Leader Dogs for the Blind and Service Dogs of Virginia. Not to be left out, however, is Canine Companions for Independence. CCI has been providing assistance dogs, free of charge, to people in need since 1975. CCI assistance dogs help disabled people live more independently — in a sense, acting as the person’s extra set of hands.

The assistance dogs are trained to retrieve items, turn lights on and off, open doors, shut drawers, help with clothing, and more.

CCI dogs can also be trained to help the non-hearing, assist disabled veterans, and work in healthcare or education facilities.

[CCI dogs are not trained for health/medical alerting, guiding the blind, etc. More information can be found on the FAQ page.]

You may not ever need a CCI assistance dog, but if you’d like to be involved with their program, check out You’ll find options for donating funds, raising a puppy, and participating in Dog Fest Walk’N Roll.

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     If you’d like to get involved with an organization that helps people and animals, check out 4 Paws for Ability. 4PfA is on a mission to “enrich the lives of people with disabilities by the training and placement of service dogs to provide individuals with companionship and promote independent living.”

     4 Paws for Ability also works to educate people on accepting service dogs in public, while providing families for rescue and shelter dogs that are accepted for training.

     Who is helped by this program? Dogs may be trained to assist people living with hearing loss, autism, seizure disorders, fetal alcohol syndrome, mobility issues and more. In fact, 4 Paws for Ability helps so many people, you may know someone who qualifies for a service dog.

     Can they use your help? Yes! You can do anything from fostering a puppy to holding fundraisers to donating goods. Check the list and see how you can assist 4 Paws for Ability

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     Have you ever wondered where guide dogs and service dogs come from?  The answer is:  homes like yours! 

     Before heading off to their new job of assisting people with disabilities ranging from impaired vision to autism to physical limitations, puppies must be extensively trained and socialized.  People just like you raise these pups with professional guidance from organizations such as Leader Dogs for the Blind and Service Dogs of Virginia.

     Trainers take on this task expecting a bittersweet ending:  saying “good-bye” to the graduate pup, but knowing that it will make a difference in someone’s life.

     If you are interested in raising and training a pup for an assistance organization – even if you already have a pet of your own – check out and  You can learn more about where to acquire a pup, who pays the vet bills, and even fill out an application online.   ~~  Jen

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