CROTON-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. – Croton-on-Hudson resident Tanner Dago-Mitchell, 8 years old, recently received a Canine Companions assistance dog from Canine Companions for Independence, a national non-profit organization that provides assistance dogs for children and adults with disabilities.
Dago-Mitchell was matched with Peekay, a 2-year-old Labrador retriever, who has been trained to respond to over 50 commands. Peekay can turn light switches on and off, open and close doors and retrieve dropped objects. However, one of her most important jobs will be to provide constant companionship for Dago-Mitchell. He and Peekay returned to Croton-on-Hudson after completing Canine Companion’s recent team training class, an intense two-week course held at Canine Companion’s Northeast Regional Center in Medford, New York, one of six such centers nationwide.
The Northeast Regional Center serves a 13-state area from Maine to Virginia. Each student who attends team training – held at each center four times a year – is paired with a fully trained, working assistance dog, like Peekay, and is taught to work with his/her canine companion. The training course consists of daily lectures, exams, practice and public outings.
“Peekay is a very special dog and we hope to have many wonderful years with her,” said Dago-Mitchell’s dad, Chance.
Canine Companions for Independence is the largest non-profit provider of trained assistance dogs with six regional training centers across the country. Established in 1975, Canine Companions provides highly trained assistance dogs to children and adults with disabilities.
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