News / USA

    Service Dogs to Walk in Inaugural Parade

    Service Dogs to Walk in Inaugural Paradei
    X
    January 17, 2013 8:55 PM
    After the public swearing-in of President Obama on Monday, thousands of people will line a 2.5 kilometer route through downtown Washington to enjoy the inaugural parade. Besides bands and dance troupes, some four-legged marchers will also take part. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about the service dogs from Canine Companions for Independence.
    Service Dogs to Walk in Inaugural Parade
    Deborah Block
    After the public swearing-in of President Obama on Monday, thousands of people will line a 2.5 kilometer route through downtown Washington to enjoy the inaugural parade.  Besides bands and dance troupes, some four-legged marchers will also take part.
     
    Caroline Elgin in The Plains, Virginia, got her service dog Sajen when she was almost 10 years old.  Elgin has cerebral palsy, which has affected her speech and motor skills, but not her intelligence.  Now 19, she says Sajen makes her happy. 
     
    Sajen knows more than 60 commands and helps Caroline by picking up items and giving them to her, pulling off her socks, and retrieving his leash.  He can also shut a door.
     
    Elgin’s mother, Carina, says Sajen has given her daughter more confidence.
     
    “Since Caroline has had Sajen, her personality has really been able to blossom.  She was very shy.  But once she got the dog she was proud to have him sitting next to her and more comfortable going into public settings, and it’s just really changed her life completely I think," she said. 
     
    Caroline Elgin says people are more at ease approaching her when Sajen is next to her.  
     
    In nearby Middleburg, Virginia, 11-year-old Bobby Slater is teaching basic commands to Shiloh, in hopes she will become a service dog to help people like Caroline.  These dogs are especially bred and trained by Canine Companions for Independence, or CCI, a non-profit group that provides service dogs to people with disabilities for free.  When they are two months old, they are sent to live with volunteer puppy raisers, like Slater.  
     
    He brings Shiloh to school to teach her socialization skills. “When I tell her to sit, she’ll sit halfway and see if you’ll give her a treat, but I tell her to sit all the way, and then she’ll sit," he said. 
     
    His classmate, Sucie Jones, also helps with Shiloh. 
     
    “I feel like it’s a good experience to have a dog in our classroom, because we all take some time taking turns to take her outside and telling her words to teach her how to do stuff," she said. 
     
    When CCI puppies are a year and a half, they leave the volunteers for advanced training at the organization’s regional centers.  Only 40 percent pass and become service dogs.  The rest are often adopted by their puppy raisers.  
     
    Bobby Slater’s older sister, Meg Ann, has also trained CCI puppies. “It’s really hard knowing you have to give them up, but it’s also great knowing that they’re going to go and change someone’s life and make their life a lot easier," she said. 
     
    Her brother and Shiloh will be in the inaugural parade. 
     
    It is an experience that will be shared by Caroline Elgin and Sajen, and 135 other people and 50 dogs.
     
    She hopes the thousands of people watching the parade will appreciate Canine Companions for Independence, and some may even be able to get a best friend of their own.

    You May Like

    Video Twists and Turns Aplenty in US Presidential Race

    Even as Americans pause for this week’s Memorial Day holiday, much attention is focused on the presidential contest

    Iran Orders Social Media Sites to Store Data Inside Country

    New requirements are expected to affect the instant messaging app Telegram, which has more than 20 million users inside Iran

    The Struggle With Painkillers: Treating Pain Without Feeding Addiction

    'Wonder drug' pain medications have turned out to be major problem: not only do they run high risk of addicting the user, but they can actually make patients' chronic pain worse, US CDC says

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora