Saturday, 16 October 2021
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Volunteers raise puppies, train them to be Canine Companions

“You risk falling. He’s just…a miracle dog,” Einspahr said.

Training Zendo and other Canine Companion service dogs doesn’t happen overnight. It takes the help of many volunteers like Karne Molony.

“These puppies come to us when they’re eight weeks old and know nothing. So it’s our job to do house training…teach basic manners. We want to return a very well behaved dog,” Molony said.

Not all dogs make the cut. In fact, Molony said only about half of all dogs in training make it into the advanced training portion. From there, they go on to become service dogs for the disabled.

“So we call those ‘change of career’ dogs,” Molony said.

Those dogs can be adopted by their trainer and usually work as therapy dogs or resource dogs, they just lack the focus or work ethic needed for a service animal.

“They’ve got to be real rock solid,” Molony said.

Volunteers said training the pups is not an easy job, and compares it, at times, to taking care of a toddler.  

“At the beginning its hard, because they’re not sleeping through the night, they’re not housebroken, and you know, you’re sleep deprived and all that,” Molony said.

And after all of the training and hard work, it’s even harder to say goodbye.

“But when you see the good they’re going to do, and the difference they’re going to make in someone’s life, you know, you kind of say boy this is really hard, but this is it’s going to be a great thing,” Molony said.

Source: http://www.kob.com/new-mexico-news/canine-companions-puppy-raisers/5010138/?cat=504

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