Top dogs will be paired with companions

Top dogs will be paired with companions
“I used to be the kid in the wheelchair. Now, I’m the kid with the amazing dog,” said Cory, above with his skilled companion dog Melly. Cory was paired with Melly by the Oceanside-based Canine Companions for Independence. Courtesy photo

OCEANSIDE — Canine Companions for Independence will graduate a group of assistance dogs at noon Nov. 8 at the QLN Conference Center’s Exhibit Hall, 1938 Avenida del Oro, pairing them with disabled individuals (both military and civilian) after completing an intense, residential, two-week Team Training program. 

The ceremony will include special presentations in honor of Veterans Day and Canine Companions’ Wounded Veterans Initiative. Volunteer puppy raisers will also return the puppies they have been fostering for Canine Companions for the past 14 to 16 months. Next, the puppies will embark on six to nine months of Professional Training with staff instructors in the hopes that they will one day become assistance dogs for people with disabilities.

Regional Board Vice President Col. Christopher Conlin, USMC (Ret.) will recognize veteran clients and volunteers involved in the organization and graduates will be given the leashes to their new assistance dogs by the volunteers who raised them.

Canine Companions for Independence is a non-profit organization that provides assistance dogs to people with disabilities completely free of charge. Through Canine Companions’ Wounded Veterans Initiative, veterans and active duty service members with physical disabilities such as spinal cord injuries, limb amputations and deafness are served. Also served by Canine Companions are professionals in facilities that assist veterans in their recovery.

Canine Companions assistance dogs are trained in up to 40 commands designed to make everyday life easier for adults and children with physical and developmental disabilities. They open and close doors, retrieve dropped objects, activate light switches and alert their human partners to important sounds. Outside of physical tasks, Canine Companions assistance dogs provide immeasurable emotional benefits to their human partners.

Visit or call (760) 901-4300 for more information.





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