Hi everyone! My name is Canada and I’m a Canine Companions for Independence assistance dog. After lots of training, I became a service dog for my new best friend Ryan. Ryan is an active Army soldier. After surviving a car bomb in Afghanistan, Ryan was left with burns, severe nerve and soft tissue damage, and damage to his abdominal wall. His mobility is restricted, and it’s my job to assist him every day. As an assistance dog I like to lick and play like other dogs, but mostly I love to help Ryan.
I can pick up things Ryan drops like his keys, open doors for him, and turn on lights and even ceiling fans. I can also alert Ryan’s wife if he has fallen or needs assistance. I think the most important thing I do for Ryan is help him regain his independence. After his injury, Ryan needed the help of others for daily tasks. Now, I can help him with those tasks, all while getting to hang out with Ryan the whole time.
Canine Companions provided me some awesome training beginning with my volunteer puppy raiser who loved me, taught me basic commands and socialized me to many different environments. Then I went to “college” at our new North Texas training center where I learned over 40 commands with my Canine Companions trainers, so I could become the best possible service dog for Ryan. After I finished my professional training, Ryan and I were matched up at Team Training and graduated together earlier this year. I am so excited to become part of Ryan’s family and help him live more independently for years to come!
About Canine Companions for Independence and the Veterans Initiative:
Canine Companions for Independence provides highly-trained assistance dogs to children and adults with disabilities. Canine Companions is recognized worldwide for the excellence of its dogs, and the quality and longevity of the matches it makes between dogs and people. Canine Companions has provided many assistance dogs to US veterans across the country. With the increase in wounded veterans who could benefit from an assistance dog, we want to do more. For a veteran making a new start putting their life back together from an injury, an assistance dog can provide the help they need to regain independence. For more information, visit www.cci.org or call 1-800-572-BARK.