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

TEXT SIZE - +
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 Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

John the XXIII and John Paul II will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square on April 27 More

Thailand Reacts to Plots Targeting Israelis

Authorities hope arrest of two Lebanese suspects will disrupt plot to attack young Israeli tourists More

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

'Once Upon a Forest' takes viewers deep into heart of tropical rainforest More

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.
Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Churchi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 22, 2014 4:14 PM
On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Robotic Mission Kicks Up Lunar Dust

A robotic mission to the moon was deliberately crashed onto the lunar surface late last week, but not before scientists had collected data gathered by the spacecraft which was designed to self-destruct. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports on the preliminary findings of the craft, called LADEE - an acronym for Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer.
Video

Video Boko Haram Claims Responsibility for Bombing in Nigerian Capital

The Nigerian militant group known as Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for a bombing in the capital on April 14th that killed 75 people. In the video message, Abubakar Shekau, the man who says he ordered the bombing, says nothing about the mass abduction of more than 100 teenage girls, most of whom are still missing. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Abuja.
Video

Video Ukraine Developments Hang Over Obama Trip to Asia

President Barack Obama's trip to Asia this week comes as concerns over Beijing's territorial ambitions are growing in the region. Those concerns have been compounded by Russia's recent actions in Ukraine and the possibility that Chinese strategists might be looking to Crimea as a model for its territorial disputes with its neighbors. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid