Can Do Canines Service Dogs Called “Life Changers”
The New Hope nonprofit Can Do Canines provides life-changing service dogs for people who need them. Stacey Snodie, who has a service dog, explains how his dog, Bensen, helps him navigate both inside and outside of his home.
“He’s my lifeline,” says Stacey Snodie, a Client of Can Do Canines. “No matter what I need he is always there.
Stacey and his dog Benson have been together for about a year. He says having a service dog has been life changing.
“I can perform more tasks out in public,” added Snodie. “I am able to work and not fear getting hurt because I know if I do get hurt he will be there to get the help I need to get where I need to go, and he alerts people.”
Can do Canines trains dogs of all breeds to help those in need.
“We provide these dogs free of charge to the people who need them,” says Alan Peters, the executive director of Can Do Canines. “We can only do that because people support the work we do with contributions so that’s an absolutely critical part of what we do.”
Training Begins as a Puppy
The dogs begin training as puppies. The organization provides service dogs in five areas of expertise. Each is trained specifically in the area they excel.
“They change people’s lives,” added Peters. “These dogs save people’s lives on a daily basis. They are heroes in every sense of the word, and there are 660 of them out there that we have graduated over the years.”
While the organization has a breeding program, they also save homeless dogs and often times train to be service dogs. Benson is a mobility assistance dog. Stacey says Benson assists him more than just physically.
“Even if I am in pain Benson will help me do those activities of daily living,” added Stacey. “I don’t think about the pain so much. I think about him being by me helping me. That actually helps sooth some of the pain that’s in the heart too. He is just amazing at what he does.”
Before Benson, Stacey’s independence was almost non existent.
“I would lay on the floor sometimes for an hour or longer,” added Stacey. “Now when I have problems I can tell him go get help and he’ll instantly go nudge somebody and he will go get help.”
Benson is Stacey’s four legged hero, who has changed his quality of life for the better.
“He’s my rock and I wouldn’t trade him for anything now,” says Stacey.
Can Do Canines is always in need of volunteer puppy raisers. If you are interested in volunteering or learning more about what disabilities qualify for a service dog visit Can Do Canines website.