Lending a Helping Paw

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  • Lending a Helping Paw

    Lending a Helping Paw

    Whether you call them service dogs, assistance dogs, guide dogs, helper dogs, aide dogs, or support dogs, there is no doubt that these specially-trained tailwaggers are invaluable to their partners. From pulling wheelchairs to fetching dropped items, to acting as the eyes or ears of their partners and performing rescue work, these constant canines are truly (wo)man's best friends and fiercest protectors. Healthline pays tribute to 10 of these helpful hounds and those that they serve. 

  • Cameron & Service Dog Zillah

    Cameron & Service Dog Zillah

    After being injured in a car accident at age 18, which confined him to a wheelchair, Cameron and service dog Zillah were partnered in Sep. 2008. The bond between human and animal has provided a huge source of comfort and companionship for Cameron who has learned that dogs can be so much more than pets.

    Courtesy of: Canine Companions for Independence

  • Vicki & Service Dog Hajik

    Vicki & Service Dog Hajik

    Vicki, affected by cerebral palsy, is confined to a wheelchair. In May 2006, she was partnered with Hajik, who accompanies Vicki to doctor’s visits, helps her hold medical folders, and stays with her while she stays in the hospital. Hajik also helps his partner stay calm when she receives medical attention.

    Courtesy of: Canine Companions for Independence

  • Don & Service Dog Cali

    Don & Service Dog Cali

    Don is deaf and needs to be alerted to sounds that he doesn’t want to miss. In January 2008, he was joined by hearing dog, Cali (photo: right). Since being partnered with Cali, Don is very grateful for the independence he receives from Cali. Now Don gives back to Canine Companions for Independence as a volunteer.

    Courtesy of: Canine Companions for Independence

  • Andrew & Service Dog Yazmin

    Andrew & Service Dog Yazmin

    Andrew was shot by a sniper while on foot patrol in Iraq. The injury caused him to lose the use of his legs and he is now in a wheelchair. In Nov. 2009 he was partnered with Yazmin. By pulling Andrew's wheelchair and retrieving dropped items, Yazmin makes the difference between being slightly independent but needing help, and being completely independent.

    Courtesy of: Canine Companions for Independence

  • Pam & Facility Dog Costa

    Pam & Facility Dog Costa

    In June 2009 Pam, Executive Director of Special Care Inc., got a facility dog to help her work with children affected by disabilities. Costa can perform over 40 commands, which are meant to motivate, inspire, and engage patients in a healthcare environment.

    Courtesy of: Canine Companions for Independence

  • Joan & Service Dog Spirit

    Joan & Service Dog Spirit

    Joan has been partnered with her Samoyed service dog Spirit for eight wonderful years, which enables her to cope with obstacles to independence that are extremely problematic to a wheelchair user with very limited strength. Spirit helps Joan get through commercial doors, retrieve bags of groceries and the portable phone, and much, much more.

    Courtesy of: International Association of Assistance Dog Partners

  • Margie & Service Dog Echo

    Margie & Service Dog Echo

    Margie needed help in daily chores such as getting the newspaper, putting the trash out, pulling clothes out of the dryer, picking up things from the floor, making the bed, and more. That’s when Echo, a one-year-old Doberman, who needed a home desperately, came into her life. Now both of their needs are met.

    Courtesy of: International Association of Assistance Dog Partners

  • Jill & Service Dog Hanlee

    Jill & Service Dog Hanlee

    Jill has been partnered with Hanlee, her second hearing dog, for four months. Hanlee hears the phone ringing, knocking at the door, the toaster popping, and even the stove timer, and alerts Jill each and every time, so that she doesn’t miss a thing.

    Courtesy of: International Association of Assistance Dog Partners

  • Glen & Service Dog Miss Bo

    Glen & Service Dog Miss Bo

    Glen and his Lab-Golden cross Miss Bo have been partnered since 2005. A paraplegic and wheelchair user dating back to a car accident in 1973, Glen determined seven years ago that his physical ability to accomplish his daily responsibilities had diminished. Since being partnered with his service dog Miss Bo, Glen finds shopping and carrying items back to the car a breeze. Miss Bo also helps pull him in his wheelchair when he goes out each day, whether in his home city or even on a cruise ship.

    Courtesy of: International Association of Assistance Dog Partners

  • Toni & Service Dog Keebler

    Toni & Service Dog Keebler

    Toni struggled to get around the streets of New York City with her white cane, until she was matched with her first Golden Retriever guide dog in 1967. Facing many issues of access denial, she became an outspoken advocate for the rights of people with disabilities, choosing to improve their lives through partnership with guide, hearing, and service dogs. In 1993 she was instrumental in establishing, with the help of several others, the International Association of Assistance Dog Partners (IAADP)

    Courtesy of: International Association of Assistance Dog Partners

  • More Resources

    More Resources

    For more information on, to volunteer your time, or to make a donation to Canine Companions for Independence or International Association of Assistance Dog Partners (IAADP), please visit http://www.cci.org and http://www.iaadp.org, respectively. 

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