NORWALK, Conn. -- Norwalk resident Alexandra Troetti recently began raising an assistance dog in-training, Puppy Iz, for Canine Companions for Independence, a national nonprofit organization that provides assistance dogs for children and adults with disabilities.
Puppy Iz is a lab/golden retriever mix who will one-day know more than 50 commands, and be matched with a person with disabilities.
Volunteer puppy raisers are critically important to the work of Canine Companions for Independence. Puppy raisers take the pups into their home at eight weeks of age, raising them, teaching them basic commands and socialization skills.
The socialization is perhaps the most important, because the dogs need to be exposed to any and all types of surroundings. With the special yellow capes they wear, these dogs are permitted to go to many public areas that family pets are not allowed. When the dogs reach about a year and a half old, they are returned to the Canine Companions for Independence regional headquarters in New York.
They begin six months of advanced training with the organization's nationally renowned instructors, before they are matched with a child or adult with disabilities.
For more information about becoming a puppy raiser, visit cci.org or call 1-800-572-BARK.
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