Dr. Bonnie Brown, owner of Jolly Pond Veterinary on Longhill Road, says goodbye to Hubble, a Canine Companion for Independence puppy. Hubble leaves Williamsburg August 9 to start professional training in Medford, Long Island. He is Dr. Brown's third CCI patient. A fourth CCI patient, Sarabi, is being raised by Debbie Phelps of Williamsburg. Sarabi will remain a patient of Dr. Brown's until August 2019 when she too will head to Long Island for professional training.
Canine Companions for Independence is a national non-profit organization providing highly trained assistant dogs for adults and children with physical or mental disabilities, at no charge.
CCI trains four types of assistance dogs. Service dogs are partnered with adults with physical disabilities to assist with daily tasks and increase independence by reducing reliance on others. Hearing dogs alert adults who are deaf or hard of hearing to crucial sounds by making physical contact such as nudging the leg or arm. Spain, a CCI dog raised previously by Debbie Phelps was placed as a Hearing dog. Facility dogs can be found in places such as rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, hospitals, schools, and courtrooms. Two Facility dogs work with professionals at CHKD in Virginia Beach. A third Facility dog works out of the Palliative Care Unit at VCU Medical Center in Richmond, Va.
A fourth type of assistance dog known as a Skilled Companion is part of a three party team comprised of a person with a disability, a facilitator, and a skilled assistance dog. These dogs are trained to work with an adult or child with a disability under the guidance of a spouse, parent or caregiver who handles and cares for the dog. There are currently over 2300 active teams nationwide.
For more information on Canine Companions for Independence, visit CCI.org.
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