Schein’s Pupdates: Teaching Kids About Service Dogs

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Schein is a Canine Companions for Independence (CCI) puppy, which means he is no ordinary dog.

Through Canine Companions, he is learning to help a child or adult with disabilities increase their independence by being a friend and lending a helping hand paw.

Schein is being raised by Sallie, a volunteer puppy raiser who will care for and train him for 18 months. He’ll then go through Professional Training and ultimately find his “furever home” with a human companion who needs his help.

Read our “Pupdates” every month to learn more about Schein and Sallie’s adventures!

Schein has been busy again this month.

We have spent a lot of time educating kids on behalf of CCI and visited three different schools, Columbus Preparatory School for Girls, New Albany Elementary School, and Binns Elementary.


It has been so interesting talking to kids about CCI and what service dogs do to assist people with disabilities.

Generally, the discussion starts out with me telling them about the puppy I’m raising and CCI.

One of the most important lessons I teach them is how to approach a service dog. Before ever petting a dog, ask the dog’s owner first and refrain from petting if the answer if their answer is “no.”

At Columbus Prep School, we brought Schein, his buddy Oberon, and a puppy in advanced training, Sammy, to show the girls a few of their commands. We taught them about the basic commands that Schein is learning, and how later, he will be able to do the advanced commands like Sammy.


Throughout the school year, Schein has been visiting New Albany Elementary to teach the kids about service dogs.

We’ve been tracking Schein’s progress, his growth and weight. During our visit in May, we found that he’s more than twice the size than when we first met them!

The students at New Albany raised money for CCI, and they presented us with a huge handmade check. The money they worked so hard to collect will buy a new service dog vest and a special leash for his new handler.


Next, we were off to Binns Elementary.

The kids there have been learning about community service organizations, and after some research, decided to raise money for CCI. They appreciated the fact that CCI works with both people and animals.


Whenever I visit a school, I always ask the kids if they have questions, and, boy, do they!

One common question is, “Is it hard to give the puppy back at the end of our time together?” Yes, it’s sad to say goodbye but very gratifying to see the puppy grow up to help others!

The discussion can take some interesting turns. Most recently, the kids at the schools wanted to know if there was an accident, how the service dog may react and notify another caregiver or emergency personnel. That question led to many more “What if…” situations that would be impossible to predict or plan for. Fires, bad guys, aggressive dogs – kids these days sure have a lot of heavy worries. It has been interesting to get a new perspective on how the dogs are perceived by a child.

It’s wonderful that kids are curious, ask questions, and want to help where and when they can.

These bright young students were very thoughtful in asking their questions, and I was very impressed with how polite and inquisitive they are. Despite having all different backgrounds, the kids were all excited to raise money for CCI and had a great desire to want to give back.




By Sallie Carey, Canine Companions for Independence Volunteer Puppy Raiser in Columbus, OH
Henry Schein, Inc. is a proud partner of Canine Companions for Independence. The company provides puppy raisers with “care packages” filled with supplies to help raise puppies during their first 18 months and works with many of the puppies’ veterinarians. Learn more about the partnership here.

Keep up with our Pupdates!

Schein’s Pupdates: Becoming a Canine Companions for Independence Assistant Dog

Schein’s Pupdates: Hello from San Diego 

Schein’s Pupdates: Time to Train!