Monday, July 15, 2013


Sunday I visited the open house at Canine_Companions_for_Independence.

This non-profit organization claims to be  the first, the oldest and the best when it comes to raising, training and providing, companion, facility, and service dogs to those in need.  The grounds at  their Southwest regional facility in Oceanside, California are impressive. The entire facility was donated by the author, Dean Koontz,his wife, Gerda  and his dog, Trixie whom he acquired from the organization.

I met Jeanne Glass and her hearing dog Heather. Jeanne and Heather graduated  eight months ago from the CCI  Santa Rosa facility that is the only CCI facility that has a  hearing dog program. What a great team they were.

Is "Smile for the camera," one of the forty commands these dogs learn?

The staff of volunteers whom I met were full of information as they greeted the visitors like me,  hosted tours, and handed out popcorn and snow cones.

It is not only veterans who receive these highly trained dogs who will complete close to twenty-four months of training. I met a facility dog named Tilly, who works with a speech therapist in a professional medical setting aiding children with autism and other problems of speech.

But CCI does cater to our disabled veterans. When a person is privileged to get a dog, they spend two weeks at the facility , for “Team Training,” in which the two learn to work as a team.
As you can see the accommodations are warm and inviting.

Here the recipients can relax and watch TV. A beautiful landscaped courtyard lies just outside.

The mess hall accommodates not only the recipients but their family members as well.

Two beds to a room. Note: Every pillow has the logo of a branch of  the service.

A large spacious indoor training area.
Grooming  space with two tubs, more than my commercial grooming shop at the Canine Beauty Salon here in Sun City, Ca. 

A place for the puppies to play. And, aaahhh, a real live bunny!
I want to be a service dog!! What an organization. The only draw back is because of CCI's dedication to training a quality dog, one that is dependable, loyal, and steady, there is a two to three year waiting list.
Thank you Canine Companions for Independence for opening up your doors and bringing awareness to the public. And thank you Dean Koontz, Gerda, Trixie and all the hundreds of volunteers that keep it open.

Check out my website:

1 comment: