Monday, January 11, 2016

Brick Walls of Life

Brick Walls of LifeThere are many sayings, quotes and cliche of life "when life gives you lemons, make lemonade", "when life gets tough, the tough get going", or "when all else fails, pray", but the truth is we all go through hard times.  Standing in the face of fear, Service Dog Titus recently had a life threatening issue.  On December 23, Titus had emergency surgery to remove an intestinal mass that had perforated.  He was a mess to put it plainly.  

Post-surgery he was transported between his local veterinarian and the local emergency care center.  On Christmas night he was strong enough and doing well enough to come home.   We were joyous to have him with us.  Titus, being Rick's service dog, was content to be back with his human.  Little did we know, nasty antibiotic resistant bacteria were brewing in his abdomen.  On the morning of the 27th, things were critical and Titus was rushed to the local emergency center.  There he was stabilized and we transported him to NC State Veterinary Emergency two hours away from home. 

Titus underwent a second surgery and at midnight the Veterinarian Dr. Blake came to us to say he had survived, was in ICU, and the next 72 hours would be critical.   We went to a hotel to crash.  

The days ahead became a waiting game.  Waiting for word he was okay, waiting for the designated visiting times, waiting for results of pathology from the original surgery, waiting for culture results from the abdomen fluids. Waiting, hoping and praying.  A lot of praying. 

On December 29th we were faced with a new complication as Titus developed a bleed from an unknown source.  We were given a choice: exploratory surgery or whole blood transfusion. The blood transfusion was the last known medical option available to Titus. Waiting, hoping and praying again. And the world was praying and waiting with us.

Wednesday afternoon found Titus bright eyed and happy to see his person. We were thrilled with his progress.  The veterinary team told us repeatedly that one reason he survived so much was the prime condition Titus was in,  A testament to keeping your dogs fit and healthy. On January 2 we brought Titus home.  A happy new year indeed!

The lesson we learned is the power of prayer works.  People were praying all over the world and we are very thankful. Volunteers and staff stepped up to help at the office with the dogs in training.  People stopped to talk with us and give their support, friends came to take us to lunch in Raleigh, and our pet sitter worked her already busy holiday schedule to care for our dogs at home.  Hundreds if not thousands have reached out in some way to support Titus and us through this.  To the team of care givers, veterinarians  and our 4th year student, Daniel, we are forever grateful.

We also learned we need to set up an emergency fund for the service dogs we have partnered with our clients.  During this ordeal with Titus, we were repeatedly thankful the means were there to provide for his care with payment upfront. Unlike when a person goes to the hospital for emergency, when emergency veterinary care is needed a payment must be made up front before the animal receives treatment. Even pet insurance reimburses after the fact.  What if the funds were not available?  

Canines for Service will establish an medical emergency fund for the service dogs we have partnered with our clients.  The recent medical crisis with service dog Titus showed us not only how quickly emergency medical expenses add up, but also that without funds available to pay "up front" often care will not be provided.  For most this would lead to a terrible decision. For someone who depends on their service dog for daily tasks the consequences would be devastating.  This fund would be a resource to get treatment started for our partnered service dogs in the event of a life threatening medical emergency.

We cannot do this alone.  It is a cost in addition to the costs of selecting, training and partnering the service dogs.  We need your help to create this fund with a target amount of $20,000.  To support the Emergency Medical Fund #titusstrong click the button below.

And, for Titus, right now he wants to chase squirrels or play ball, help his person and rebuild his strength.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

New Exciting Fundraiser and the Color of Summer

Save the date!

An exciting new event is being held on October 10, 2015 where teams will race from a starting point to locate 10 mystery destinations throughout New Hanover County, complete “challenges” at each, and then be the first to the finish line.  Clues will be provided the day of the event and prizes awarded for the first to finish in each category.

Registration includes a clue card for each team, event shirt upon successful completion and a meal at the finish line.  There are three different team opportunities and prizes will be awarded in each category:

  • Adult Team - Two (2) to six (6) people traveling in one vehicle. Registration is $45 per person.
  • Family Team - Two (2) Adults and their Children 15 years old or younger traveling in one vehicle. Registration is $100 per team.
  • Mommy & Me / Daddy & Me Team  - One (1) Adult and One (1) Child 15 years old or younger.  Registration is $60 per team.

Join the fun and support a great cause!  For sponsor opportunities click here.  To register your team click on the star.

The Color of Summer

During the month of August, Tickled Pick is partnering with Wilmington Art Association and benefiting Canines for Service! Experience The Colors of Summer during the month of August and see the BEST of Wilmington artists, with exhibits, Meet the Artists events, workshops and more! AND a portion of proceeds to go to our wonderful friends at Canines for Service‪#‎thecolorsofsummer‬

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Partnering and Changing Lives

Almost one year to the day, Service Dog Uriah met her person, Coleen.  Uriah, was selected from Hilton Head Humane Association on April 24, 2014 and trained for a year.  Having learned over 90 commands she is already helping to change Coleen's life in small and large ways.

Coleen served in the United States Navy for 8 years as a Corpsman working in a gastroenterology clinic and emergency department. Coleen continued her passion for emergency work when she was assigned to the duty station Guantanamo Bay Cuba.

Coleen is excited to welcome her new service dog and hopes Service Dog Uriah will bring back some normalcy in her life.  Already Coleen and Uriah have been on outings to a pet retail store and a large box store that she would never have done alone.

Community Support is Key to Success

Each time a service dog is partnered with their person, we are reminded of the number of people and businesses involved to achieve this success.  Service Dog Uriah was selected from Hilton Head Humane Association after they contacted our team and invited us to visit and see their dogs.  Once in program, Uriah's training was done by military prisoners and volunteer handlers, Susan Martin and Denise and Kevin Carpentier, who took her on outings in the community. Her veterinary care was done by Best Friends Animal Hospital.  All of the records and documentation of training were transferred back to the corporate office in Wilmington for recording and retention.  Staff in the Wilmington office processed Coleen's application for a service dog and the Client Services Committee reviewed and determined her eligibility for a service dog.  Wilmington staff had the rewarding job of notifying Coleen of her approval, match with Uriah and team training arrangements.  

When it comes time for the clients' team training, staff arranges transportation, if needed, and hotel accommodations.  In Charleston there are three hotels that sponsor our clients accommodations.Holiday Inn Express & Suites Charleston North sponsored Coleen. On the day of the placement ceremony, the Brig is active in ensuring guests are escorted to the ceremony including a representative from Quilts of Valor.  Quilts of Valor's mission is to provide every Veteran with a hand crafted patriotic quilt and drape the Veteran in the quilt.  The team fromHarry Barker Inc. joins the ceremony to present the client and service dog with a gift basket of goodies to start their new life together. On the final day of training, a carriage tour of Charleston is graciously provided by Palmetto Carriage.

You too can be a part of changing someone's life with the gift of a service dog. Join our Continuing Companions by providing an ongoing monthly donation to help provide for the needs of a service dog in training and for the team training.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Canines for Service Charity Partner in the 2015 American Humane Hero Dog Awards with Five Service Dog Nominees

Wilmington, NC March 10, 2015:  Canines for Service has been named one of the service dog Charity Partners in the 2015 American Humane Hero Dog Awards.  The eight categories for 2015 are: Military Dogs, sponsored by the Zoetis Rimadyl K-9 Courage Program; Arson Dogs, sponsored by State Farm; Service Dogs, sponsored by Modern Dog magazine; Law Enforcement Dogs; Search and Rescue Dogs; Guide/Hearing Dogs; Therapy Dogs; and Emerging Hero Dogs, a category that pays tribute to ordinary dogs who do extraordinary things. Zoetis is the official online sponsor for the competition. 
In the category of Service Dogs, Canines for Service has five (5) nominees: Luke, Mordecai, Sela, Titus and Zebby.  The top dog in each category will win $2,500 for a designated charity partner and the overall winner's charity partner will win an additional $5,000 for their chosen charity. Each partner is dedicated to celebrating the role of dogs in our lives, and like American Humane Association, focuses on the importance of the human-animal bond.

Beginning today, dog lovers across the country are invited to visit and vote once per day for their favorites in each of eight categories. Following the first round of voting, which ends May 15 with the selection of 24 semifinalists (the top three in each category), a second round, featuring a combination of public and celebrity voting, will narrow the field to the eight category finalists. The winning dog in each category will be flown to Los Angeles and celebrated at a red carpet, star-studded awards gala on September 19th, when this year's American Hero Dog will be revealed. The fifth annual Hero Dog Awards will air nationwide as a two-hour special on Hallmark Channel this fall.

Key Dates.
Key dates for the 2015 American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards™ contest include:
  • March 9-May 15: Voting to determine 24 semifinalists
  • May 25-June 26: Voting to determine the 8 category finalist
  • July 4-September 7: Voting to determine 2015's American Hero Dog
  • September 19: Fifth annual American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards event in Los Angeles

About American Humane Association.
American Humane Association is the country's first national humane organization and the only one dedicated to protecting both children and animals. Since 1877, American Humane Association has been at the forefront of virtually every major advance in protecting our most vulnerable from cruelty, abuse and neglect. Today we're also leading the way in understanding the human-animal bond and its role in therapy, medicine and society. American Humane Association reaches millions of people every day through groundbreaking research, education, training and services that span a wide network of organizations, agencies and businesses. You can help make a difference, too. Visit American Humane Association at today.

About Canines for Service.
Canines for Service is a North Carolina based non-profit corporation dedicated to empowering people with disabilities to achieve greater independence. The group trains and places certified service dogs with the help of volunteer foster families and military prisoners, provides pet therapy certification classes and helps children in our community improve their reading skills. It is the only service dog provider in North Carolina accredited by Assistance Dogs International. Since its inception in 1996, Canines for Service has provided over $11 million in services to our community. For more information, call 910-362-8181 or visit

Media Contact: Patricia Hairston, Canines for Service Telephone: 866-910-DOGS (3647)

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

2015 Walk and Dog Dash

Less than a month away and we are in full swing.  We always need help
planning!  We look to our network of volunteers and supporters for help with this event in many different ways and your participation plays a significant role in the success of the event.  Please consider helping in some way.  Here is a list of ways for you to participate:    
  • Build a team of friends or family to Walk or Dash (Teams of 4 or more can register together for a discount, the discount appears at checkout) (CLICK HERE)
  • Ask your business to be a sponsor by choosing one of the cost conscience opportunities below or clicking here.
  • Ask your business to sponsor and build a team.
  • Spread the word.  How?  Post a flyer, share the event on FACEBOOK, email everyone you know, place a stack of postcards at your place of business.  Contact our office at 910-362-8181 to get some post cards.
  • Create an online fundraising page. (CLICK HERE) This is easy to do and you can reach people far and wide for donations to the cause.
  • Buy a memorial for a pet or loved one for our Memory Lane portion of the Walk.  (CLICK HERE)  and select Memorial Lane.
  • Become a Vendor.  Do you have something you sell or a service you provide? See attached Info.
  • Become a Sponsor.  We have a variety of new levels starting as low as $25.  See attached info. 
  • Volunteer to staff our booth.  People love to meet our dogs!  Volunteer at our tent for an hour and you won't need to register to Walk.  (CLICK HERE)
  • Donate a Raffle Item.  (Anything goes!) We can pick it up!

Email Christy by clicking here to get involved and help out!
Sponsor Opportunities

SponsorLevelDonation LevelDescription
Memory Lane Memorial
Remember a loved one, human or pet, with a sign on Memory Lane.    (The last half mile of the walk)
Program Insert
(Limit of 10)
Sponsor provides insert to Canines for Service to be included in the Walk Program.  Must be no larger 8.5 X 5.5 inches.  Sponsor must provide the insert to CFS a minimum of 2 weeks prior to the event. (March 14, 1015)
Vendor Space
Early Bird (Until 2/28/15): $75
Nonprofits: $25
3/1/15 or later: $100
Vendors will receive a space at the event of approximately 10 X 10 feet.  Vendors provide all of their own equipment including tables, chairs, tents etc…  CFS only provides the space for set up.  Electricity not available.  Nonprofits must provide a copy of their 501(C) 3 and may only distribute information and sell items.  Adoptions and donation requests are not permitted.
Hospitality Vendor
 (Limit of 6)
Guaranteed table reservation in our hospitality area which provides covered shelter and a picnic table.  No tent needed.    
Food Truck Vendor (Limit of 4)
Bring your food truck out to our well attended annual event.  You must be properly licensed and insured.  CFS reserves the right to limit food types to one truck.
Walk Route Sponsor
Display your company banner along the Walk Route.

Pet Costume Contest Sponsor
Limit of 1
You name the Pet Costume Contest and choose a prize for the winner.  It will be advertised in social, print media and on Walk Day.
Start/Finish Sponsor
 (Limit of 2)
Hang your banner with the start and finish signs.
T-shirt Sponsor
Name: $100
Logo: $200
Sponsor name and/or logo imprinted in one color on Walk T-shirt, which is given to the first 200 pre-registered walkers.  Due no later March 9, 2015.
Specialty Booth Sponsor
Sponsor one of our fun booths and set up your table in the activity booth.  Examples include Photo Booth, Paw Prints booth, Dog Reiki/Massage Booth, etc….
Stage Sponsor
 (Limit of 1)
Hang your business banner on the stage during the event.
Ad Package #1
Vendor Space, Logo recognition on Walk Website, Onsite Sponsorship mention
Ad Package #2
Vendor Space, Logo recognition on Walk Website, Onsite Sponsorship mention, out bound link on website, Company logo included on print ads, prominent logo recognition on promotional materials (TV, radio, newsprint, posters)
Custom packages available
Raffle Sponsor
In Kind Donation
Your choice
Donate any item to our Raffle.