This is Rockwell, the second service dog puppy I raised for Canine Companions for Independence.
For 18 months, I was responsible for Rockwell's basic training and socialization, making sure he was exposed to as many sights, sounds and experiences as possible--so that he will know how to behave and not be scared or distracted when he is actually working as a service dog.
In August, I (sniff) turned him back in to the experts at Canine Companions for Independence. He's now in advanced training, learning to retrieve dropped items, open doors and drawers, turn on light switches, and more. Assuming all goes as planned, he'll then be placed with a human partner, either as a service dog or as a facility dog.
I can't raise a dog while I'm living overseas, but I can't imagine NOT raising another CCI puppy when I return!
These dogs are life-changing for the people they serve. And although the cost of raising a service dog from breeding through advanced training is about $50,000, CCI provides the dogs free of charge. The entire cost is funded by private donations!
I also volunteer my services as a photographer to Canine Companions, and am proud that many of my images have been used in training and marketing materials. For more information about CCI, please visit www.cci.org