Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Getting Vested

For humans, getting vested might mean to become eligible for pension benefits or to have a right or privilege to something, but for a young service dog in training, it opens up a whole other world of training opportunities.

Service Dog in Training Sheba received her service dog vest this past Monday. To have achieved this milestone, Sheba’s potty training was successful and at just 12 weeks of age, that is very good. For Sheba and her foster family, the Rupp’s, this means she can begin her socialization activities as part of her service dog training. The Rupp’s will start taking Sheba with them on age appropriate outings to get her used to behaving in public and learning about the world she will work in as an adult dog.

It is a happy moment for the foster family and the pup and one of the many accomplishments to follow as the training progresses.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Meet Magdalene, Service Dog In Training

Thanks to Carolina Animal Protection ( for the newest member of the Carolina Canines for Veterans program. Magdalene, formerly known as Molly, was rescued by CAPS and was awaiting the perfect home when we spotted her. She was already on hold for a couple waiting to complete their home interview, but when litter mates Max and Maddy did not meet our requirements, CAPS graciously let us test this girl. Of course, she passed with flying colors!

Carolina Canines waited to hear if Magdalene would be ours and the happy call came Thursday evening. The CAPS Foster Mom and Volunteer, Jane, met our director early Friday to transfer the girl to our program. This is another great example of local non-profits working together for the good of the dog and in this case, a person with a disability in the future.
The prison handlers at the brig are very excited to have this little girl in the program and she will be well cared for and loved. She was already learning to sit on command with the guidance of treats and loving every minute of it. Over the next several months, Magdalene will learn many tasks in addition to growing and maturing. Follow our blog as we keep you updated on her service dog training adventures.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

National Pet Fire Safety Day

Today is National Pet Fire Safety Day. So, if you are one of the millions of humans that share your home with one or more pets or a service dog, the please take a moment to consider the points published by America Kennel Club and ADT.

  • Extinguish Open Flames - Pets are generally curious and will investigate cooking appliances, candles, or even a fire in your fireplace. Ensure your pet is not left unattended around an open flame and make sure to thoroughly extinguish any open flame before leaving your home.

  • Pet Proof the Home - Take a walk around your home and look for areas where pets might start fires inadvertently, such as the stove knobs, loose wires and other potential hazards.
    Secure Young Pets - Especially with young puppies, keep them confined away from potential fire-starting hazards when you are away from home.

  • Keep Pets Near Entrances – When leaving pets home alone, keep them in areas or rooms near entrances where firefighters can easily find them.

  • Practicing Escape Routes with Pets – Keep collars and leashes at the ready in case you have to evacuate quickly with your pet or firefighters need to rescue your pet.

  • Affix a Pet Alert Window Cling – Write down the number of pets inside your house and attach the static cling to a front window. This critical information saves rescuers time when locating your pets. You can obtain a free window cling here or at AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Days events.

  • Keep Your Information Updated - Firefighters are familiar with pet alert window clings so keep the number of pets listed on them updated. Knowing the accurate number of pets in the house aids rescuers in finding all of your pets.

  • Use Monitored Smoke Detection Services – As an added layer of protection beyond battery-operated smoke alarms, smoke detectors connected to a monitoring center help save pets who can’t escape when left home alone.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Paws for Reading

Paws for Reading

The mission of the Paws for Reading is to improve the literacy skills of children through the use of registered Carolina Canines for Therapy teams as literacy mentors.

Paws for Reading demonstrates that registered handlers and their therapy dogs are instrumental in improving the literacy skills of children in an effective, unique and, most importantly, fun manner. The objective of Paws for Reading! is to have children in second through fifth grade read to the therapy animals on a weekly basis during the school year.

Since initiating Paws for Reading in September 2002, Carolina Canines for Service has provided this valuable literacy tool to over 370 children in the schools and over 500 children in the library program or community activities. The program has included emerging readers in kindergarten to middle school students, although originally designed for second through fifth grade. We have teams located at the Wilmington Northeast Library, the community Boys & Girls Club of Wilmington, as well as select local elementary schools during the school year.
Results from Paws for Reading demonstrate that 83% of the children participating have improved their reading skills.

“I like to read sometimes, but it is very hard for me. I LOVE reading to the dogs and giving them treats. The ladies are very nice and help me with the hard words. Coming makes me like reading more and I get excited to come to read.” -Gabe

Gabe also told his mom one day when he was not feeling well that “he had to be at school today because it was a Paws for Reading day and that he was the best reader they had and did not want to let them down.”

Paws for Reading is an affiliate program of the Intermountain Therapy Animal Reading Education Assistance Dogs® (R.E.A.D. ®) program.

Are you interested in becoming a Paws for Reading team? Contact Carolina Canines for Service at 910-362-8181 or visit to find out how to become a therapy team in Wilmington, NC. Contact Teamworks Dog Training at 919-855-0422 or visit for information in the Raleigh, NC area.