On 01.02.02, I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. Too late for surgery, I had chemotherapy, which failed. In May the chemotherapy was changed and I was soon in remission which was celebrated and welcome and lasted nine years - until October 2011. There was progression in 2011 so more treatment was indicated and I am now back in partial remission. But I'm not only a cancer patient - I also enjoy my family, walk my dogs and am learning to draw and paint. Life is good!

Friday, August 13, 2010

More happy people

I don't know whose dog this is but I know where I saw it. Today was a magnificent day for some disabled people in six U.S. cities -- Santa Rosa, California; Medford, New York; Delaware, Ohio; Woodstock, Illinois; Oceanside, California; Colorado Springs, Colorado; and Orlando, Florida. These are all homes of CANINE COMPANIONS FOR INDEPENDENCE, an agency that breeds, trains and provides service dogs for wheelchair, hearing and otherwise disabled children and adults.

Today was the graduation day for the dogs that were successful in the training and were matched with those who might benefit. The puppy under the chair was about to be turned in to the professional trainers for the next class of potential graduates. I used to be a puppy raiser for CCI so I know a lot about their program. Our Demi was a graduate and worked with a little boy for about 1-1/2 years until she was retired for medical reasons. We took her home when she was eight weeks old, attended classes and raised her until she was 21 months and then - saddest of days - we surrendered her to the trainers. Six months later she rotated through a class of hopeful recipients but didn't make a match. There are always more dogs than people so this was disappointing, but not a surprise. Three months later, however, she teamed up with the child who really benefited from her companionship and skills. It's unfortunate that she was sidelined due to renal dysplasia, a congenital condition that had not been detected (and still hasn't given her problems).

So today is the day when hope abounds. Disabled adults, children and their parents completed the two week training program on campus with their canine teammates and finally got to receive the dogs in a ceremony and take them home. Another 37 puppies were turned in to the trainers on the Santa Rosa campus -- and many others in the other cities -- and their puppy raisers are hopefully waiting that after six months of training they will graduate too. For that second group it's a bittersweet day, the loss of a beloved puppy, but the hope that all the work of raising it will serve someone who will have a better life with greater independence.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails