Canine Companions for Independence + CODE GIVECCI

Who needs July 4th to celebrate independence? Wendy Langley, Robyn Smith, and the rest of their Canine Companions for Independence® crew encourage us to “Make Every Day Independence Day!” And that is precisely what Canine Companions for Independence -- the most highly acclaimed and accredited assistance dog organization in the United States -- does and has done every day of every year since 1975. Canine Companions has thoughtfully bred, raised, and trained more than 6,200 dogs to match the needs of children and adults with disabilities. These highly trained assistance dogs partner with their human recipients (free of charge, mind you) to exponentially increase their humans’ ability to live independently.

Photos care of Canine Companions for Independence

“Our recipients include people of all ages with over 65 different types of disabilities,” Robyn shares. “Ultimately, the type of disability is not important – what is important is whether we can meet that person’s needs.” And boy, do they ever! One Canine Companions recipient is nine-year-old Nu Ja, who was born with limb differences in her arms and legs, meaning they are either absent or incomplete; that doesn’t slow her down, though -- she is an enthusiastic, outgoing child with places to be and people to see. Her parents applied for a service dog and in September 2018 an expertly trained assistance dog named Kristi was matched with her. Today, Kristi helps Nu Ja be more independent by performing commands like running to retrieve her lunchbox when she says, “Kristi, get!” As with all other Canine Companions matches involving a child, there is a three-member skilled companion team: 

  1. the Canine Companions recipient; 
  2. the canine; and 
  3. the adult who facilitates the handling process, manages the team’s safety, and ensures the dog’s daily needs are met.

Photos care of Canine Companions for Independence

According to Robyn, Nu Ja says Kristi is her best friend. We hear that! Best friends definitely do help us live life freely. Each Canine Companions team costs $50,000 to fund, so by donating to Canine Companions for Independence we help make every day independence day for someone new! Use checkout code GIVECCI to donate 10% of your PLAE purchase to Canine Companions for Independence.