As I’ve begun to post pictures and talk about Walla my new puppy, folks have asked about Canine Companions for Independence (CCI).
First I would refer you to cci.org for the full story but in brief –
Canine Companions for Independence provides specially trained service dogs to persons who need them. Dogs are provided to applicants free of charge. These dogs have a variety of jobs depending on the need of the applicant. They may be hearing dogs, assist the disabled, facility dogs, etc. They are not guide dogs for the blind nor medic alert dogs but otherwise may do most any job. It costs $50,000 to provide a dog to an applicant. CCI accepts donations and depends on folks like me to raise the pups. In August of 2019 she will return to headquarters for professional training. Meanwhile I get to teach her basic puppy stuff and expose her to as many situations as possible to provide her with a ‘whatever just something new’ attitude to things she has not experienced.
Pups are bred specifically for the program and remain the property of CCI. They are tattooed as well as microchipped to positively identify the dog. Some folks ask why they don’t get dogs from shelters. Unfortunately early experiments along this line were not productive as the failure rate was very high. Dogs do fail training but the failure rate is low and is trending downwards as the breeding program improves. If a pup does fail they may go on to other jobs such as K9 corps with police, DEA, or military, therapy dogs or other jobs depending on the suitability of the dog. Some pass out of program because of medical issues too. Should Walla prove to not be suited to a placement she will come back to me to be my permanent pet. On day 4 I already love her so much but I hope she passes with flying colors when the time comes.
Questions I’ve been asked lately include ‘Tell me about CCI’ but the most frequent is ‘how can you give her up’ well I think about how much the dogs mean to the life of the person who receives them and content myself with being able to contribute to that.
I am always happy to answer questions.