Canine Companions for Independence® Service Dogs Change Hearts

A Change of Heart

Canine Companions for Independence® service dogs in training.

It was a few minutes before nine on a Thursday morning. I arrived at the Greater Cleveland RTA rapid transit station with my service dog in training to meet seven Canine Companions for Independence® puppy raisers with their puppies and two graduate teams. We were there for a highly publicized field trip to downtown Cleveland, a chance to introduce the hopeful service puppies to the sights and sounds of Cleveland and to train in situations the pups had not yet experienced.

It was also an opportunity to showcase Canine Companions for Independence®, a non-profit organization that enhances the lives of people with disabilities by providing highly trained assistance dogs and ongoing support to ensure quality partnerships.

We greeted each other with smiles and wags, excited to have this opportunity. The puppies that day ranged from 5 months to 17 months and kept pace with the more mature graduate dogs. They were a perfect example of start and finish.