Lance was in his early twenties when a diving accident left him paralyzed. He went from being an active and athletic Marine Corps Reservist to being trapped in bed. He remembers when a fly landed on his nose, and he couldn’t even move his arm to shoo it away. It was one of the lowest points of his life. He decided he had no choice but to stop feeling sorry for himself and do whatever he could to live life fully.
A few years later, Lance took a major stride forward in his emotional recovery when he was matched with a Service Dog from Canine Companions for Independence. Satine, a black Labrador/Golden Retriever cross, helped Lance more than he could have imagined. “Satine changed my life,” Lance explains. “She gave me responsibility, independence and the confidence to go out there and try things I didn’t think I could do.” When a staff position opened at Canine Companions, Lance moved out of his family home in Arkansas to Southern California to live on his own and support the organization that returned his independence.
|Lance & Auggie|
“Canine Companions is extremely important in my life,” says Lance. “I’m happy to be an example of how much independence a Service Dog can bring to someone with a disability. Canine Companions is a wonderful organization, and I’m proud to be a part of it.”
Lance and Auggie, like all Canine Companions graduate teams, completed an intense, residential, two-week Team Training course together at one of Canine Companions’ regional training facilities. During Team Training, students are strategically matched with assistance dogs and learn how to work with them safely and effectively. The dogs are trained for two years prior in up to 50 commands before they are ready to become someone’s 24/7 helper. Thanks to Canine Companions’ generous supporters, the dogs, their training and ongoing follow-up support are provided free of charge.
If you would like to get involved with Canine Companions, visit http://www.cci.org/ or call 800-572-BARK.