Founded in 1975, Canine Companions for Independence is a non-profit organization that enhances the lives of adults, children and veterans with disabilities by providing highly trained assistance dogs and a lifetime of ongoing support to ensure quality partnerships, entirely free of charge. Headquartered in Santa Rosa, CA, with six training centers across the country in CA, FL, NY, OH and TX, Canine Companions is the largest non-profit provider of assistance dogs. They’re recognized worldwide for the excellence of its dogs, and the quality and longevity of the matches it makes between dogs and people. The result is a life full of increased independence and loving companionship.
Canine Companions and EUKANUBA™ launched the organization’s very first live puppy cam. Nearly 700,000 unique viewers tuned in online to watch the E Litter and Hero Litter grow from their first moments of life to eight weeks old. Since 2007, EUKANUBA™ has welcomed Canine Companions at the AKC/EUKANUBA™ National Championship with in-ring signage, PSA’s, dog activities and awareness booths.
“After my injury, I was weathering a storm, but not so well,” says Stefanie. “I used to wonder, ‘why am I still here?’ I felt like a burden to everyone. Now I have Service Dog Kaz as a partner to help me take on the world. Now I say, ‘I’m here with Kaz and I’m proud!’”
Thanks to Kaz, Stefanie is finishing her master’s degree in advertising. Kaz is also making it possible for Stefanie to work with horses again. “Before my injury, I was very involved with horses as a show jumper and rider. I knew I needed a way to be with horses again, since they were such a big part of my life before. At the stables, I drop things constantly and Kaz is able to pick up items. I don’t worry anymore. If I don’t have it, Kaz will. Kaz even loves to come on walks with my horse, Shadow. I think Kaz thinks Shadow is a big black lab.”
Stefanie can’t remember a time without Kaz, because there has been such a big change in both her body and mind. Her doctors can’t figure out the huge improvements in her health and abilities. “Kaz and I represent freedom, independence and teamwork. I can rely on Kaz to be her happiest, healthiest self every day knowing that she’s getting the best nutrition I can give her.” states Stefanie. “Together we can overcome anything.”