When I’m sick or I’m sad, my dogs know it. They will come over to me and give me a million kisses and then curl up next to me and cuddle. I don’t know how…but they know when I need them most and they know just how to make me feel better. That’s the most amazing thing about dogs.
It’s also why I love today’s organization. Canine Assistants trains and provides service dogs to enhance the lives of adults and children with physical disabilities, seizure conditions and other special needs. They have an 18 acre farm in Georgia where they breed and train the dogs. They place between 75 and 100 dogs each year and they cover the cost of the training, food and medical care for the life of the dogs. Recipients of the service dogs don’t have to pay a dime, so no one will ever be turned away for the inability to pay.
There are a lot of benefits to having a service dog. They can do things like turn lights on and off, pick up dropped objects and pull a wheelchair. But the most important benefit is that they eliminate fear, isolation and loneliness in their companions. Those social benefits are what help the most in giving people a richer, fuller life.
Since the organization was founded in 1991, they have placed over 1,000 dogs, but they still have over 2,000 people on their waiting list. It costs $22,000 to care for each dog. That’s an awful lot of money and Canine Assistants relies solely on private donations and sponsorships to fund their work. But I guess you can’t put a price tag on the love these dogs provide.
I actually chose this organization today for a special reason. I chose it in honor of my Uncle Frank, who passed away over the weekend. Uncle Frank loved dogs more than anyone I know. No matter where we were or what we were doing, he always asked about our dogs. Even while he was in the hospital and feeling terrible, he asked after my mom’s dog and my girlies. I think he liked dogs more than he liked most people! Whenever he would see a dog, his face would light up. Dogs just made him so happy.
That’s the kind of happiness service dogs provide to their owners. I know if my uncle was here, he would agree with me that this organization is doing good and important work. And he would agree that everyone should be able to have the love of a dog in their lives. So please…join me today in honoring my Uncle Frank and make a donation to this great organization. I think he’d be really happy about that.
And if you happen to see a dog today, think of my uncle and give the dog a little love.