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National Puppy Day!

March 23, 2016

Today is National Puppy Day and we have A LOT of puppy love at Canine Partners for Life. 71 puppies are currently in their first year of training. Many of these puppies will become service dogs or home companion dogs, providing a greater quality of life to individuals with disabilities.

All CPL service/companion dogs go through two years of training before being matched to an individual. From 8-weeks old to about 14-months old our puppies are raised by volunteers. We have volunteers in the community and in our Prison Puppy Raising Program.

Puppy home volunteers have the rewarding job of raising, training, socializing, and spoiling a puppy for their first year of life. Volunteers are responsible for socializing their puppy in public at least once a day, attending obedience classes provided by CPL twice a month, taking the puppies to veterinary visits, completing monthly reports, and providing the puppy with a healthy, loving, and safe environment.

Karen and her husband, John, became volunteer puppy raisers for CPL 5 years ago. They always had dogs of their own, but had a difficult time coping once the dogs passed. They felt the CPL Puppy Raising Program would be just the right fit for their family. They could take a puppy to restaurants, museums, businesses and everywhere else they traveled. Although they would have to send each puppy back to CPL after a year, they knew the puppies had a bigger, greater purpose AND as soon as they turn in one puppy, they start raising another!

Karen shared, “Canine Partners lets us watch the pups grow, learn their commands, and show just how intelligent and willing they are to help. When they leave us, they’re not leaving the world but going on to make a huge difference for someone. To hear the recipients’ stories and see what the dogs mean to them and what they can do to let the partners shine is priceless and humbling. People often say that they couldn’t let their puppies go, but, as John says, when each one goes to the kennel for the second year of training, it’s like sending a child off to college. They have a roommate, play groups, and they can come home for Christmas. It’s such a proud moment to see the puppy you helped to raise get started on a rewarding career of service to someone.”

Consider making a difference for an individual living with a disability by becoming a puppy home or a temporary puppy home. Click here for more information.