Sunday, June 12, 2016

Team Training Day 1 ~ 6/12/16

Hi, folks!

June has arrived! For most that means the end of the school year and the beginning of summer vacation, but for the kids and young adults I'm about to introduce you to this month holds special significance because it means FINALLY getting there very own Canine Angel. In reading this blog you will be joining us on this, a truly amazing adventure.

Since today was our first day, we spent the majority of the morning getting to know a little bit about one another. I will give more in-depth bios of each kid in future posts, but for now I will give you a brief introduction.

First there's Sammie, a 7 year old girl with just enough spunk to match her bright purple wheelchair. Sammy has Cerebral Palsy, but it doesn't slow her down any! Her favorite activity is paintin
g, and as we discovered today, playing with kittens. She brought with her her mom Allison and her "crazy" dad Brian.

Then there's Peter who's 19 and is a recent high school graduate. In the future he plans to attend college and hopes to one day become a priest. He, like Sammy, also has Cerebral palsy. Peter's parents Jeff and Gina are here to help him on his path to new-found independence.

Next is 17 year old Savannah, who has Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and other chronic illnesses. Very articulate and witty (something she gets from her dad Tony who is also attending team training), Savannah is a master of sarcasm and definitely knows how to get everyone laughing with a well-timed punch line and epigrammatic one-liners.

Christopher, who is 9 years old spreads his joy without even trying. Always quick with a smile it is clear that he is very excited to meet his new dog and take him or her on all his adventures. Christopher's parents Richard and Gloria are also here.

Shelby, 15, is on the autistic spectrum. She cannot wait until she gets her new dog so that she can feel more comfortable out in public and, of course, have "dog time" whenever she likes. Her parents Jenn and Rob are equally excited to see what positive changes are in store. 

Last but not least, there is Amanda and Matthew who are here to receive a facility dog. Amanda works at the University of Southern California in the health and wellness center on campus. This dog, who she will take to work with her everyday, will tremendously impact the lives of the students they come in contact with, helping to decrease stress and bring joy to what is sometimes a difficult transition.

After the day's lecture and a wonderful lunch graciously donated by Figaro's Pizza, we wrapped up the day with some much anticipated "dog time."

Over the next two weeks as each family learns what goes into service dog handling, astounding bonds will begin to form between the humans and dogs. These bonds will last a lifetime and open opportunities we never thought possible. So let's sit back and watch the magic happen! It all starts here with the 2016 Canine Angels Team Training and Graduation!

That's all for today Check in tomorrow to see the latest and greatest!

P.S. It's not to late to purchase your raffle tickets for this year's Count Down to Graduation Raffle. All proceeds go to CAST and help make what we do possible.

Raffle begins Wednesday, June 16th


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