Kansas City resident welcomes Service Dog

DELAWARE, OH – Kansas City resident Patrick Hokanson patiently waited for his name to be called graduation day, Friday, May 17, 2013. However, he was not waiting to receive a diploma or degree, Patrick was waiting to be officially paired with an assistance dog, Service Dog Pal.

Patrick received Pal through Canine Companions for Independence®, a non-profit organization that enhances the lives of people with disabilities by providing highly trained assistance dogs and ongoing support to ensure quality partnerships. Graduation day marked the end of an intense two-week Team Training session where Patrick was paired with Pal and spent time learning how to work with and care for him.

Canine Companions’ assistance dogs master over 40 commands to assist with daily tasks, such as retrieving dropped items, opening and closing doors, pulling manual wheelchairs and turning on and off light switches.

Patrick is a veteran of the U.S. Navy and received a spinal cord injury during his service. “I heard so many great things from other veterans about Canine Companions that I decided to apply,” Patrick shared. “He’ll help with picking things up I drop and opening doors at home and work, but he will also help me get out to try new things,” said Patrick.

Visit http://www.cci.org for more information about Canine Companions.

About Canine Companions for Independence:

Canine Companions for Independence is the nation’s first and largest non-profit provider of trained assistance dogs for children, adults and veterans with physical disabilities. Established in 1975, Canine Companions is recognized worldwide for the excellence of its dogs, and the quality and longevity of the matches it makes between people and dogs. There is no charge for the dog, its training and ongoing follow-up services. For more information, visit cci.org or call 1-800-572-BARK.

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