Feel-Good Stories of Four-Legged Heroes
Talk about a cause for celebration: 2021 marks three whole decades of making a difference for our friends at Canine Assistants® — a non-profit organization that teaches and provides service dogs to children and adults with physical disabilities and other special needs.
The Milk-Bone® brand is proud to have been partnering with Canine Assistants® since 1997. In that time, Canine Assistants® dogs have touched the lives of more than 20 million people*, thanks in part to Milk-Bone® customers like you.
Every package of Milk-Bone® dog treats you buy helps us donate $250,000 a year to Canine Assistants®. And this year, in honor of the organization′s 30th anniversary and thanks to the support of Milk-Bone® customers like you, we′re donating an additional $30,000 to help these heroes make the world a happier place.
How do Canine Assistants® dogs make such a big difference, exactly? Here are just a few examples.
Dalton & Worth
The following is from a letter written by Stacie, Dalton′s mom, about Dalton and his service dog, Worth.
′′There are truly no words to accurately depict the love, joy and comfort this big, beautiful boy has given our son, Dalton.
Our journey with Duchenne muscular dystrophy is often isolating and lonely. Being confined to a power wheelchair and a hospital bed can easily add many negative emotions to an already heartbreaking reality. This life is heavy and hard, yet Canine Assistants® changed so much of that on June 17, 2018.
Worth and Dalton are the best of friends! When Dalton is scared, lonely, sad, in pain, etc., Worth is there to calm his fears, comfort him, cheer him up and make him forget about the pain! I imagined having a service dog would be a great benefit for our hero, but I never imagined the grand impact this furry fellow would have on all of us in our home. My husband and I needed Worth and we didn’t even know it. Not just for the fact he is Dalton’s best friend that will never leave his side when things get even harder, but his presence is simply heavenly! The quality of life he has added for all three of us is immeasurable."
Channing & Bishop
Bishop is a seizure response dog and loyal sidekick to his best friend, Channing. The following is a story shared by Channing′s mom.
′′When friends ask how Channing is doing, the answer isn't always easy to hear, and it's not always easy to give either, particularly when it changes from moment to moment.
This morning, when I asked Channing for a ‘brain report,’ she said she finally felt like the seizure activity had stopped and the post-ictal headache had subsided. Now she just felt dizzy. But she felt well enough to go to the dog park with Bishop.
This was an opportunity for Channing to finally meet some of Bishop’s new dog-park friends!
Except Bishop didn’t play with any of the other dogs! Instead, he never left Channing’s side, something he’s never done before at the dog park.
We can’t help but think that maybe, more than any of us, it’s Bishop who best knows the answer to the question, ′How’s Channing?'
Good boy, Bishop!"
Aidan, Song & Dollop
The bond between a person and his service dog is truly something special. And sometimes, it’s instant. As you can see below, Aidan knows this firsthand.
′′My son, Aidan, was matched with his first service dog when he was 8 years old. Soon after that, he began to use a wheelchair full-time. It can be isolating to be a kid in a wheelchair, but people were drawn to Aidan and his beautiful dog.
The companionship of a loving dog and the social avenues she opened for Aidan made middle school and high school so very much better.
Aidan’s dog, Song, was by his side during difficult doctor appointments, medical tests, illnesses and just plain tough days. Even at the hardest moments, Aidan could look at Song and smile.
As Aidan prepared to finish high school, Song let us know she was ready to retire. Aidan returned to Canine Assistants® to find his new best friend. I’ll be honest ... we couldn’t imagine finding another dog who was as perfect for Aidan.
Then we met Dollop. The first time Dollop met Aidan, she walked by everyone else in the room, went right up to Aidan, and gave him a kiss. It was love at first sight, and it was mutual. College seemed like a scary new world at first, but Aidan and Dollop are some of the most well-known faces on campus now. From day one, students and faculty have been drawn to the dynamic duo of Aidan & Dollop.
Aidan is a young man now who faces challenges most people his age can’t imagine. But he’s navigating the world with his beautiful best friend right by his side.
I cannot imagine who Aidan would be without his beloved service dogs. They have given him comfort and confidence every step of the way. The bond between Aidan and his dogs is indescribable. But if you saw them together, wheeling across campus in perfect synch, you’d get it. And you’d smile."
Find More Feel-Good Content
The stories and photos shared here are just a tiny taste of the goodness Canine Assistants® spreads in the world. And while we could never capture it all, we do have plenty more to share.
Check out our Share the Care microsite to see more stories, meet the dogs, watch how they′re taught and more.
Buying Milk-Bone® dog treats is just one way you can show support for Canine Assistants®. If you′re interested in doing more, learn about other ways to help at CanineAssistants.org.
Celebrate Their Birthday
OK, so it′s technically the 30th ′′anniversary′′ of Canine Assistants® … but if you think about it, that basically means it′s the organization′s birthday. And we are all about birthdays. Who doesn′t love an excuse to celebrate? That′s why we′ve got a whole section of our website designed to help you bring the birthday fun. So go on, make the most of the occasion!
*Based on an Estimated Dog Recipient’s Schedule
From the Dog Blog
Here are six ways to help boost your aging dog’s immune system so he can be as friendly as he likes!
Find out more about the wonderful nonprofit Canine Assistants from Gary Arnold.
Want to have more fun with your pet, but don't have the time? Squeeze in more love with these tips.