I met Kimi Yokota at a Canine Companions for Independence graduation ceremony. Her smiling face belied the sadness she felt at having to turn in her latest puppy for more advanced training.
Kimi has been raising CCI dogs for what seems like forever. It started as a project for school and has become much, much more.
Bowen is an assistance puppy in program for Canine Companions for Independence (CCI). “CCI is a non-profit organization that enhances the lives of people with disabilities by providing highly trained assistance dogs and ongoing support to ensure quality partnerships” (www.cci.org).
Bowen is in the puppy raising phase of his journey to become an assistance dog. He will live with Kimi (his puppy raiser) for the next year and a half. She will teach him basic obedience, house manners, and socialize him. He is Kimi’s 8th puppy to raise for CCI.
This is a picture of Bowen and his housemates. Titian (on the left) is Kimi’s change of career dog, and queen of their house. She’s the first puppy Kimi raised for CCI. They now do therapy work together. The dog on the right in the other orange bandana is Kimi’s other puppy in training, Hadara. She’s Kimi’s 7th puppy, and she just turned a year old.
Kimi posts about Bowen’s experiences and life as a puppy in program for CCI. Check it out! http://bowensdogblog.wordpress.com/