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Canine Companions for Independence (“CCI”) – A truly noble cause

Updated: Dec 11, 2021

There are countless ways many of you provide extra help and care for pets in need. We all know, this is not a one-way street. Pets give so much back to us. I am reminded of the car magnet I have seen lately with the image of a dog’s paw print and the words, “Who rescued who?” in bold letters. But there are some causes and organizations that we find to be truly exceptional. Canine Companions for Independence is one such organization.

For many years we have had the pleasure of working closely with Canine Companions for Independence (a.k.a. CCI). Imagine what these pets mean in the lives of the families they come to bless? Here is a link to their website.

Our role has been in providing health care for the new puppies in training that are raised by select families in this area. It has been a joy to see the dogs go on to more vigorous training. They have to “qualify” in many areas in order to become a special companion to people in need.

I invite you to read some of the material on their website. I also wanted to include a letter recently written by Pat Lawson, a volunteer puppy raiser and CCI Golf Tournament Director.  Along with Merial and the Iams Company we are in part, sponsoring a hole at the upcoming Fundraising Golf Tournament.

Sarafina came to our home last July as a feisty 8 week old Golden Retriever and is our newest Canine Companion Puppy In Training.  We certainly didn’t know what we were getting into with this one!  I suppose the fancy name should have tipped us off that she would be special.  CCI puppies are required to learn about 25 commands while they are being fostered by volunteer puppy raisers.   After living with the volunteer raisers for about 18 months, they are then transported back to a CCI campus for 6 months of professional training, learning around 60 commands before being placed with their human partner.

As I said, Sarafina is a special one… she learned most of her commands in 12 months.  She has what we call “attitude”.  So it is fitting that she has become a super ambassador – or as we call it- Ambassa-DOG for Canine Companions for Independence.   Sarafina has visited grocery stores, banks, hotels, hospitals, professional basketball games, theme parks, beaches,  and, well  you get the idea… she has been out and about!  It is her latest Ambassa-dog duty that brought the most attention however.  Canine Companions for Independence receives no government funding and relies only on donations and fundraising activities to continue to provide highly trained assistance dogs to people with disabilities FREE OF CHARGE.   CCI holds Golf Tournaments throughout the Southwest as super fundraisers.  Sarafina  will be featured on the Oasis Animal Hospital Banner at the upcoming Dog Days of Summer Golf Classic!  All are welcome to attend the tournament and see Sarafina and the other CCI puppies and Graduates in action on the golf course.  Check out CCI Golf at  (choose the Arizona tab)

We owe many thanks to Dr. Tenney and the gang at Oasis Animal Hospital for sponsoring Sarafina throughout her journey here in the Valley of the Sun.

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