2019 Spring Companion cover

The Companion

The Companion is our tri-annual magazine that shares the growth of our mission, stories of our graduate teams and the good work our staff and volunteers are doing. Enjoy the beautiful images and wonderful stories. Together we are changing lives four paws at a time.

Current Issue: Spring Companion 2019

Click here to request past newsletters.

Monthly Enewsletters

May 2019 eNews

LuLu is a smart, vivacious 7-year-old who needs to stay active and exercise to help manage the progression of two rare genetic conditions. Skilled Companion Zuke is an expertly-trained assistance dog who helps LuLu move more and participate in the activities she enjoys most. Lulu's parents, Marko and Marianne, share, "Zuke is a great motivator and encourages Lulu to run - they love chasing each other around the house." Click here to read the entire enews.

April 2019 eNews

Nu Ja was born with limb differences in her arms and legs, meaning they are either absent or incomplete; however, this rarely slows her down. “Kristi, get!” 9-year-old Nu Ja excitedly tells her new assistance dog. With a wagging tail, assistance dog Kristi retrieves Nu Ja’s lunchbox from the kitchen counter and then carries it down the hall so Nu Ja can put her lunch in her book bag. Click here to read the entire enews.

March 2019 eNews

“My whole world opened up when I received my first Canine Companions® assistance dog, Marcie, in 2004,” explains Amanda. Click here to read the entire enews.

February 2019 eNews

They met on a blind date over lunch, matched by a friend and Canine Companions® puppy raiser who, on a hunch, played Cupid. Both Frank and Emily have spinal disorders and use wheelchairs. Separately, they had been paired with service dogs from Canine Companions. Click here to read the entire enews.

January 2019 eNews

Shawn is no stranger to the life-changing impact a highly-skilled assistance dog can provide. At age 6, Shawn was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a progressive muscle disease and he has since grown up with a Canine Companions® dog by his side. Click here to read the entire enews.

December 2018 eNews

Jack is 10-years-old and has cerebral palsy. Last summer, Jack was matched with Canine Companions® assistance dog Drake, and his life has been deeply impacted.

November 2018 eNews

Life changed for Chelsey in 2010 when she contracted a bacterial infection after tubing on the Comal River, which led to a bilateral below-knee amputation.

October 2018 eNews

Dr. Cara Miller has a very persistent alarm clock. It doesn’t have a snooze setting, and it often comes with a couple of whiskery kisses. Cara’s alarm clock is named Turf, and he’s a black Labrador and an expertly-trained hearing dog from Canine Companions for Independence.

September 2018 eNews

Earlier this month, Canine Companions for Independence welcomed Paige Mazzoni as our new CEO. Paige comes to our organization with over 25 years of professional experience, concentrated in corporate strategy and management, strategic initiative development and marketing implementation. We are thrilled she is here and look forward to the greater ability to serve more clients with her vision and leadership.

August 2018 eNews

U.S. Army veteran Chrissy first found out about Canine Companions for Independence at age 10 when her aunt was partnered with a Canine Companions® assistance dog to help with multiple sclerosis. When Chrissy experienced a debilitating back injury while serving in the military, she knew she would turn to Canine Companions for her own assistance dog. But first she wanted to tackle the challenge of relearning how to walk.

July 2018 eNews

Sergeant Stefan LeRoy lost both of his legs in Afghanistan while trying to carry an injured platoon member to safety. “I knew there were more improvised explosive devices (IEDs), but that’s what you do,” says Stefan on his decision to help his injured comrade. “You do the right thing.”

June 2018 eNews

Veterans, like Marv who was matched with Service Dog Yara, have experienced more independence in their lives thanks to their Canine Companions® assistance dog. “Yara is probably the main reason I’m here today,” says Marv.

May 2018 eNews

"Being at Canine Companions® and with the dogs, Sheridan spontaneously looked at me and said, ‘I love you, Mama,’” recalls Lisa, Sheridan's mom, tearfully. “It was the first time I’d heard him say that in almost three years.

April 2018 eNews

The first time Trevor met a working service dog was in 2011, one year after the accident that caused his spinal injury. "Another client at the spinal cord injury recovery program I was attending had a Canine Companions® service dog," recalls Trevor. "Once I saw what these dogs were able to do for someone with a disability, I knew I had to apply."

March 2018 eNews

Canine Companions® partner Sutter Health in Northern California recently launched a social media campaign highlighting their Canine Companions facility dogs. Nine facility dogs work in a multitude of settings throughout the Sutter Health network, including hospitals and physical therapy units. These assistance dogs help motivate and comfort patients while encouraging healing and recovery.

February 2018 eNews

On a rainy day in 1995, Tammie was carpooling to work with neighbors when their vehicle hydroplaned and flipped multiple times. "I remember waking up sideways in the passenger seat, but I couldn’t move to get out of the car," recalls Tammie.

January 2018 eNews

The newest addition at Baylor Institute for Rehabilitation Grapevine-Lancaster is bringing patients a unique form of treatment — the love of a dog.

December 2017 eNews

Abey has a very rare condition that causes her to have low muscle tone, cognitive delays and sensory issues. She cannot communicate verbally, but has assistance dog Toby to help her. “These incredible dogs become a part of your family so fast,” says Toni, Abey’s mom. “He’s an amazing dog. The time, love and energy it took to train him really shows. He’s very special and so attentive to Abey’s needs. Sometimes, even before I can tell, he knows if something is bothering her.”

November 2017 eNews

Steve enlisted in the Army in 2004, and his unit was sent to Iraq in early 2005. He lost a number of close friends and suffered injuries himself. “Upon returning to the U.S., my friends and family noticed I was not the same person,” explains Steve. “Instead, they found a cold, jaded and angry man where a once compassionate one stood.”

October 2017 eNews

Kimberly is no stranger to the assistance a Canine Companions dog can provide. She received assistance dog, Lissa, when she was 13 years old. “Lissa made me more confident,” says Kimberly. “She helped me feel more comfortable talking with new people. Before I was pretty shy, but having a dog with me made me more relaxed.”

September 2017 eNews

Steve, a volunteer firefighter since 1982, has a special partner by his side and she comes with four paws and a wet nose. Hard of hearing since he was 3 years old as the result of spinal meningitis, Steve had a difficult time living independently without relying on the assistance of other people. Now, with Hearing Dog Luna V by his side, Steve can relax knowing she always has his back.

August 2017 eNews

Imagine going in for a routine surgery and waking up as a quadruple amputee, fighting for your life. This nightmare was a reality for Annette. Instantly, the dedicated wife, employee and mother was completely dependent on others for every part of daily living. That is, until Canine Companions Service Dog Patch entered the picture.

July 2017 eNews

Margo found out about Canine Companions in 1988. “I was struggling then. I already couldn’t handle a full nursing schedule anymore,” says Margo. “Having a progressive disability really changes your life, but I knew I wanted to stay as independent as possible.”

June 2017 eNews

"Life before Canine Companions was good, but I was dependent on others," shares Amy who graduated with Service Dog Yazzen in 2005."

May 2017 eNews

"Being a mom is rewarding, and also really hard. That’s a universal truth, but adding disability to the dynamic makes some of the day-to-day responsibilities appear nearly impossible. Canine Companions has matched me with two different and perfect assistance dogs.

April 2017 eNews

Robin began her education at the University of Central Florida (UCF) in 2015. In 2016, she started “graduate school.” She hopes to land her first job within six months.

However, Robin isn’t your average student. She is a Canine Companions dog training to become an assistance dog. Raised by UCF student, Morgan, Robin was the first assistance dog in training allowed to live in university housing at a public university in Florida. Read more...

March 2017 eNews

A child had just received new braces and was refusing to walk in them. All I had to say was, "Let's get Igor's leash and take him outside, then Igor and the child were walking and eventually running outside together," recalls Teresa, a physical therapist.

February 2017 eNews

For many dancers, injuries are a harsh reality of the job. Kathleen occasionally experienced numbness and weakness in her legs. Her doctors determined the symptoms to be caused by a slipped disc, a common dancing injury. But as the numbness and weakness worsened, doctors decided to run additional tests. Kathleen expected that she would need surgery, but the news she received was far worse. The doctor informed Kathleen that she would never dance again; she had multiple sclerosis (MS). “I lost my identity that day in the hospital.”

January 2017 enews

Hearing Dog Marguerite could not have come into Michelle’s life at a better time. Michelle had just lost her husband to a heart attack two months prior to receiving an invitation to Team Training at Canine Companions to receive a hearing dog.