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TLCD Tours Canine Companions Campus

The Canine Companions for Independence campus in Santa Rosa just eclipsed Disneyland as the happiest place on earth… or at least the happiest place in Sonoma County! This past week, Pat Callahan, the National Director of Development and Marketing, graciously gave Mark Adams, Sara Thompson and Marina Starkey an extensive tour of their facility which is the national headquarters and the Northwest Regional Center.

The sprawling campus, built in the mid 90’s has beautifully landscaped grounds and extensive training facilities. As we toured with Pat, we were struck by the sheer number of dogs that inhabit this campus. With a large contingency of volunteers and highly skilled trainers, Canine Companions proudly trains 4 types of assistance dogs: Service, Skilled Companion, Facility and Hearing dogs. We were able to see one of the trainers working with a two-year old lab who was in the process of learning how to turn lights on and off, open doors and fetch items as thin as a credit card off the floor! Even the staff is invited to bring their own dogs to work, so it’s  not unusual to see a dog curled up in every work space and office.

This highly respected non-profit is responsible for changing the lives of people with disabilities and we are proud to have this community gem in Sonoma County. Be sure to check out the CCI website and learn more about how to volunteer or get involved. Did you know our very own Alan Butler raised a puppy for Canine Companions?

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