Spike’s family reunion and new puppy beginnings



Spike and I are on trip in California and determined to make a visit to Canine Companions for Independence (CCI) Headquarters in Santa Rosa, California – which can also be conveniently in wine nation.

First, Spike had a paw-some household reunion. We went to the house of Chris Kittredge, a Canine Companions board member and in addition the volunteer ‘breeder caretaker’ of Spike’s mother Dory. Upon seeing his mother for the primary time since he was eight weeks outdated, Spike practically misplaced his thoughts. He and Dory have been so excited, operating and taking part in and giving one another a lot of kisses. I felt like they have been each saying to at least one one other “WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?” Dory remains to be an energetic breeder for Canine Companions and can quickly have one other litter of puppies.

Then we went to Canine Companions headquarters and have been lucky sufficient to see a brand new litter of puppies being turned in: Hachi, Hocus, Huli, Hilo, Hazy, and Haver (each pup in a CCI litter has a reputation that begins with the identical letter). The volunteer breeder caretakers care for the litter for the primary eight weeks of their lives, normally in their very own houses. Then they flip the pups into headquarters to get evaluated and processed earlier than being shipped to their pet raisers, which might be anyplace within the nation.


When they’re turned in, they spend 24 hours at Canine Companions headquarters on the “Pet Unloading Zone.”  The pups get their first spherical of photographs, their first baths, and get a tattoo that identifies them as a Canine Companions canine.  Veterinarians consider them for any medical or bodily points. For instance, if a canine has a major overbite or underbite they might be launched from this system as a result of an enormous a part of their eventual job might be to select up objects for his or her associate.

Whereas on the pet unloading zone, skilled volunteers are invited to return and spend time taking part in with the puppies to assist socialize them – and it’s not too tough to seek out keen individuals. We have been fortunate sufficient to get to tackle this onerous obligation! We washed our palms first and placed on sterile booties to keep away from giving the puppies any an infection or illness.

Socialization is essential with these service puppies.  We wish these pups to be uncovered to as many various websites and sounds as early as attainable to normalize it for them and keep away from creating concern patterns that may be tough to right after they become older.


For instance, some breeders may have a CD with numerous feels like sirens, visitors, bells, and fireworks to play for the puppies – a helpful funding for anybody with a brand new pet.

One other socialization strategies we practiced with the puppies is known as “cradling.” In your lap, you rigorously place the pet on its again and maintain it, till it relaxes.  This teaches the canine to be snug with being held and having their toes touched, additionally making it simpler to trim their nails, too.

Although I anticipated nothing lower than excellence from the CCI Headquarters, it was nice to see how rigorously these future heroes are handled every step of the best way.


Spike and I additionally met different pet raisers in a coaching class, and even met certainly one of his half-siblings from one other of Dory’s litters. The entire journey was actually a full Lion King ‘Circle of Life’ second for Spike and I. And after all of the pet craziness, we did somewhat wine tasting too.

Everybody will certainly be coming residence joyful to the east coast.

Click on right here to be taught extra about Canine Companions for Independence.


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