Dogs are man’s best friend. But to a person with a disability, a dog is more than that. Fully trained service dogs can provide a level of independence and security that would be otherwise unattainable. I first learned what a difference a dog can make in the lives of our clients when Fergus the Cope Dogjoined us during a Civil Trial in 2017.
This month, I have joined the board of directors of COPE Service Dogs, a charity that provides fully trained and certified service dogs to individuals and institutions in need.
Members of the community raise a litter of puppies each year, as they begin going through a two year training process. I am raising TJ, a four-month old black lab. Part of TJ’s training will be done by high school students in a special class run by a COPE instructor. TJ’s first day of school is on Wednesday. By the end of his training, TJ will know over 90 commands. For now, we are working on “sit”.
If you or a loved one would like to apply for a COPE dog, your can learn about the process by clicking here. If you would like to get involved with the organization, you can do so here.