Schein is a Canine Companions for Independence (CCI) puppy, which means he is no ordinary dog.
Schein is being raised by Sallie, a volunteer puppy raiser who cares for and trains him for the first year and a half of his life.
Read our “Pupdates” every month to learn more about Schein and Sallie’s adventures!
In September, Schein and I got to see some familiar faces, and we also found out some unexpected news.
First we attended an annual puppy raiser workshop and re-certification event with CCI. This type of event is like a checkup for the service dogs, where they are tested on their behavior, visibly looked over for their health (such as the dog’s weight), and re-assessed to make sure that they’re still a good fit for their job. It’s also an opportunity for puppy raisers to see the dogs they raised again.
Schein and I got to see Avery, the first dog we ever raised!
Avery works with the County Prosecutor, and he is the only dog in Ohio that’s been placed in this role. It’s a special job to have.
In long court proceedings, Avery sits at witnesses feet on the stand and is there to help them feel calm and comforted, especially when the witnesses are children. He doesn’t disturb the proceedings in any way.
When CCI and the County Prosecutor were looking for a dog, Avery came along, and they thought he was perfect for the job. He’s so calm; it’s just his personality. They could tell that he knew when to approach people and how close to get. He was special that way. He’s really intuitive, good with children, and can tell just when to approach or when to give someone a little space.
Schein reminds me of Avery. He always takes an extra moment to think about it before he proceeds with a command. He’s methodical and moves a little slower. Schein is very calm and gentle with babies and small children, and he seems to know they are more fragile than adults.
It’s always incredible to see how well the professionals at CCI can place a dog.
Whether it’s pairing service dogs with people with disabilities, or finding just the right fit when there’s a special role like Avery’s, they have an uncanny ability to find the perfect match.
In September, we found out that Schein will be graduating early.
We’ll be passing off the leash to CCI on November 3rd. From there, they’ll take the time to assess and determine what role Schein is best suited for.
Schein could possibly be a breeder because of his calm, obedient, and flexible nature. (This has posed some new challenges for both us and Schein, since his potential as a breeder means he hasn’t been neutered yet. He’s definitely been more distracted lately…)
Schein could also be an Assistance Dog, a Skilled Companion, or a Facility Dog. The professionals at CCI will know what his best placement will be!
Since we received Schein, we have provided CCI with monthly updates on his progress. We also just received a large packet to fill out to make sure CCI has all the information they need to know about Schein before he graduates. The questionnaire includes everything from when his latest heartworm medicine was administered to what names other than Schein he might answer to. (In his case, he will answer to “Schein” or to “Halo,” the name of our pet Lab).
We’re at lasts now.
We’ve been to our last puppy class. We are on our last trip with Schein outside of Ohio. He is seeing my sister’s dogs for the last time. We have one last school visit coming up.
Everything we do feels especially poignant. Schein has been a great puppy, and I think he’s ready for his next steps. I think he’ll do just fine.
See the rest of Schein’s September adventures in the photos below!
On September 14, we flew with our CCI buddies to Chicago for the Haute Dog Fashion show benefiting CCI. Schein is a frequent flyer but this was Oberon’s first flight so Schein showed him the ropes. Good job, Schein! In Chicago, we took the dogs sightseeing.
Here we are at the fashion show. The Chicago Bears sent a football player to walk the runway! He was a huge hit with the dogs.
At the New Albany Walking Classic, the CCI puppies helped us cheer on the participants as they sped by.
We also attended a training class at Slate Run Historical Farm. They reenact the farm as if it were 1880 there, and we got to experience what life was like way back when. The farm animals were curious about the CCI puppies and the feeling was mutual! Schein loved them all!
For the month of October, we are spending time in Phoenix and Southern California. So our next blog post will be the last “Pupdate” full of our fun travels together!