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Word Count: 504
I became interested in service dogs eight years ago when I wanted to do something to make a difference in someones life When I saw a segment on Animal Planet about becoming a puppy raise for Canine Companions for Independence CCI I knew that was what I wanted to do I filled out an application went through a screening process and three months later I had my first puppy the most beautiful Golden Retriever I had ever seen I am currently training Puppy 6 a black labgolden cross CCI has a very scientific breeding program at the Training Center in Santa Rosa California The breeder dogs live with their breedercaretaker and are bred up to five times during their lifetime when they are retired from service The breedercaretaker whelps the puppies and is responsible for their care until they reach their 8th week Then they are taken to the Training Center where they are tattooed and given a series of shots Next they are sent to puppy raisers all over the country to be trained loved and socialized for the next year The puppy raiser is responsible for teaching 26 basic commands such as sit down stand under bed kennel dress speak car shake visit lap up release off and many more But the main responsibility of the puppy raiser is to produce a well behaved dog and to socialize it We take the puppy everywhere that a person with a disability might want to go My puppies have gone to my job grocery stores restaurants malls and stores For the most part I am very welcome everywhere I go Sometimes I am questioned because youre not blind It is then up to me to educate these people that there are service dogs for more than just the blind After the puppy has been with me for around a year it is time for the next phase of its training
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