Hard to Say Goodbye

….But Collegeville Volunteer Puppy Raisers are ecstatic Assistance Dog Hal is now Canine Companion to Connecticut woman with disabilities.
Collegeville, PA –  Canine Companions for Independence – a national non-profit organization that provides assistance dogs for children and adults with disabilities – is proud to announce that Connecticut resident Laura Micklus  has recently received an assistance dog from Canine Companions for Independence.
            Laura was matched with Hal, a two-year-old labrador retriever who has been trained to respond to over 50 commands.  Hal can turn light switches on and off, open and close doors and retrieve dropped objects.  However, one of his most important jobs will be to provide constant companionship for Laura.
           Much of the thanks for this successful match goes to Canine Companions for Independence volunteer puppy raisers Frank and Julie Furey of Collegeville, Pennsylvania (Frank and Julie are 6 time Canine Companions for Independence Puppy Raisers, currently raising puppy Nandu).  The couple raised Hal from an 8 week old puppy, and said goodbye to her after a year and a half.  Frank and Julie worked tirelessly with Hal, teaching him basic commands, and the all-important socialization skills.  When he was old enough to begin advanced training, Hal was returned to the Canine Companions Northeast Regional Headquarters in Medford where he worked for 6 months with the organizations nationally renowned instructors, learning over 50 commands.
Laura and Hal were matched after completing Canine Companion’s recent Team Training Class, an intense, two-week course held at the organization’s Northeast Regional Center in Medford, NY – one of five such centers nationwide. The Northeast Regional Center serves a 13-state area from Maine to Virginia.
Each student who attends Team Training – held at each center four times a year – is paired with a fully trained, working assistance dog, like Hal, and is taught to work with his/her canine companion. The training course consists of daily lectures, exams, practice and public outings.
    Laura and Hal are settling into a routine back home in Connecticut.  Laura says, “Hal is a very special dog and I hope to have many wonderful years with him.  I can’t thank Frank and Julie Furey enough”.
ABOUT CANINE COMPANIONS FOR INDEPENDENCE: Canine Companions for Independence is the largest non-profit provider of trained assistance dogs with five regional training centers across the country. Established in 1975, Canine Companions provides highly trained assistance dogs to children and adults with disabilities and is recognized worldwide for the excellence of its dogs, and quality and longevity of the matches it makes between dogs and people. There is no charge for the dog, its training and on-going follow-up services. For more information, visit cci.org or call 1-800-572-BARK.