This week is International Assistance Dog Week (Aug 1-7), created to recognize all of the devoted, hardworking assistance dogs helping individuals with disabilities. I have a great story for you to celebrate this special week. National nonprofit Canine Companions places service dogs with adults, children and veterans with disabilities all throughout the country, free of charge.
Faith Walden with service dog Claude
About 5 years ago, 19-year-old Faith of Sacramento was diagnosed with amplified musculoskeletal pain syndrome (amps) a medical condition that causes her nerves to fire randomly, causing pain throughout her body.
Last year amidst the pandemic, Faith was matched with service dog Claude free of charge. Claude is expertly trained in over 40 commands to help enhance Faith’s independence, and having him makes it possible for faith to do more with less fatigue. With a wagging tail, Claude happily picks up dropped items like Faith’s cellphone and keys for her, opens and closes doors and drawers, turns on and off lights and more.
The physical benefits of having a service dog have been more than Faith could have imagined. “not only has Claude been a light in my life emotionally, but also physically.” Faith shares, “he’s just happy to go out and play or go on a walk. Having Claude has pushed my physical limits and helps strengthen me. Because of the exercise I get with him, I’ll be able to stay out of a wheelchair longer.”
2965 Dutton Ave
Santa Rosa, 95407