This is Roger, the service dog puppy I am raising for Canine Companions for Independence (my third).
For 18 months, I will be responsible for Roger's basic training and socialization, making sure he is 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 actually working as a service dog.
Then I (sniff) will turn him back in to the experts at Canine Companions for Independence. After six months of advanced training, learning to retrieve dropped items, open doors and drawers, turn on light switches, and more, he will hopefully be placed with a human partner.
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