About Wasatch Champions
Email Address for the Wasatch Champions
Send inquiries and outreach requests to email@example.com . Volunteer administrator – Glenna
All emails to firstname.lastname@example.org will be automatically forwarded to the above address.
Send updates and news items to email@example.com, including CCI puppy arrivals, new Utah graduates, Wasatch Champions in the news, outreach events, graduate and puppy raiser stories. Volunteer administrators: Rich, Linda & Becky Hein
This link gets you to a brief overview, and below that story are links to three individual stories of the graduate teams, Skilled Companion Gyla with Sofia, Service dog Larry with Debb, and service dog Misty with Glenna.
Sawyer, Kandace and Hal II (LGX) graduated as a skilled companion team in November, 2005. The extended family quickly immersed themselves into the local CCI family. Sawyer, Kandace and Hal quickly became favorite speakers at events. They were present at many functions: potlucks, holiday gift-wrapping, and CCI seminars. Either Kandace or Sawyer’s sister Erica organized the CCI presence each year at Autism Walks, an annual fundraiser for autism. Sawyer, initially a shy boy with autism, blossomed with Hal by his side. Sawyer quickly learned all the facts there were to know about CCI, about service dogs, and Hal’s specific skill set. Sawyer developed the speaking skills to stand in front of a room full of people, and tell them about CCI and about “Handsome Hal”. Previously unable to sleep through the night in his own bed, visit the doctor or dentist, and struggling in crowded groups of people, Sawyer and Hal took on the world. With the gentle Hal by his side, Sawyer learned to tolerate doctors, visit stores, and enjoy family vacations. The family took a trip together to Disney and Rand (Sawyer’s dad) built a special platform on the back of an ATV so that Hal could safely accompany them on outdoor family adventures. Sawyer and Hal, in matching bowties, greeted over 500 guests at sister Erica’s wedding to Charlie.
Meanwhile, the supportive and extended family of Sawyer’s started to give back to CCI. Erica & Charlie became puppy raisers for CCI and are currently raising their 4th pup Niobe. Karen, their first pup, wasn’t cut out for service dog work, but instead found her place as a police search and rescue dog in Los Angeles. Vecca graduated as a skilled companion in 2009, and Nacho graduated just a few weeks ago as a facility dog. Niobe is actually being co-raised by Josie, younger sister of Sawyer & Erica.
Hal II was the perfect dog for Sawyer. Large, calm, gentle and well behaved no matter the occasion. Hal was equally comfortable cuddling with Sawyer as he was in the center of a crowd of people at a fundraiser. He interacted politely and calmly with adults or the unruly toddler. He was an ambassador for our local CCI community and his presence will be greatly missed by all.
The slogan of CCI is “Exceptional Dogs for Exceptional People”… Hal was truly exceptional dog who served an exceptional young man.
Written by Amy Kernan
W&I offline, October 2011, News for IRS employees, Ogden Campus. W&I offline is published monthly by W&I Communications & Liaison for campus employees.
OGDEN WELCOMES ITS FIRST CCI SERVICE DOG
Glenna Foremaster introduces Misty, her CCI service dog, at a recent puppy shower.
Whether wandering the halls of the Main Building or reading the W&I offline, many of you have met the Puppies in Program for Canine Companions for Independence. Ogden is happy to welcome Misty, its first CCI graduate service dog. Misty joins the ranks as a service dog for Glenna Foremaster, tax examiner, who learned about CCI through a co-worker when they began bringing their CCI Puppy in Program to work. “I soon met more puppy raisers and became friends with them,” said Glenna. “They were very helpful in the application process and teaching me all they knew about CCI.”
Glenna said the process to obtain a service dog included fi lling out an application, a phone interview and flying to Oceanside, CA for a personal interview. She was then put on a waiting list that ranges from six months to two years. Glenna waited eight months before heading to California to attend a two-week training session with the dogs.
“We had to take quizzes every day,” said Glenna. “We learned more than 40 commands, how to groom the dogs, and took field trips to places like the mall and restaurants to learn how to handle a service dog in public.”
Glenna was born with spina bifida and is paralyzed from the knee down. Misty assists Glenna by retrieving dropped items, such as keys, pencils, pens or stamp pads. Misty has also been taught how to open a handicapped-accessible door. At home, Misty helps Glenna by pulling a laundry basket from room to room with a rope, and she can open the refrigerator.
Glenna says she has a better attitude about life since having Misty, and at home, Misty gives her something to think about besides herself. “Misty has opened many opportunities and makes me feel more confident in going out and doing more things,” said Glenna.
Rowdy Loenshal, a puppy raiser in Ogden’s Entity area, says not all graduate pups come back to the area where they were raised and that Misty is a special case. “It was one of those moments when Misty was ready for a companion, and Glenna was attending two-week advanced training — it was sort of destined for the two to get together,” said Rowdy.
Misty retrieves keys, one of many commands she learned in CCI Professional Training.
C, after recent surgery, with Raine II
Excerpt from ttrlt.blogspot.com
"Friday he had surgery (10/1). He had tubes put in both ears. He also had tubes placed in his tear ducts. His eyes are always watery and he is constantly rubbing them. We brought Raine with us to the hospital. She was with us in the waiting room, etc. The anesthesiologist was very impressed when Raine opened the door to the operating rooms. Raine, of course, couldn't go back to the operating room. When they transferred us out of recovery Raine was there so Caleb got to have her up on the bed with him and between her and "Cars" he was a lot calmer."
RACHEL HAGEN & GERDA - UTAH CCI SKILLED COMPANION TEAM
- Apply for an Assistance Dog
- Learn More about CCI Programs
Skilled Companion Dog, Gerda, is named after author Dean Koontz's wife, Gerda Koontz.
Teacher's Pet Helps Students Improve Skills
There is a teacher's pet in a Vista special education classroom. He's a four-legged friend named Fairfax. Robin Hooper, a young energetic elementary school teacher works with students with moderate to severe disabilities at Hannalei Elementary. They face everyday challenges and sometimes need a little extra motivation, so she brought in Fairfax, a specially-trained Labrador/Golden Retriever mix. The students love taking care of Fairfax and that helps improve their fine motor skills, and much more. Fairfax encourages students to verbalize or use their communications devices in order to tell him to "sit" or praise him for a job well done. Best of all, Robin uses play with Fairfax as motivation for her students to complete their assignments and work extra hard.
The dog is much more than a teaching tool, he's also their friend.
"It just makes that much of a difference for some of these students who just need a companion," said Robin Hooper. "They need someone to sit with them who is a friend, no matter what happens."Fairfax completed an intense training program with Canine Companions for Independence (CCI) in Oceanside. The dogs train for about two years before they're ready to help people with disabilities.
Fairfax was raised by Linda and David Weiskopf from Pleasant View, Utah. Fairfax graduated as a CCI Facility Dog in May 2008.