Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Reason, Season or a Lifetime

This week my world was rocked with the news of the untimely passing of a friend. I did not know him well, but he came into my life because of a four-legged friend and he touched my heart.  I can only hope that I touched his.  

Life takes us down many paths.  Sometimes the path we take is not always easy.  There is hurt, physical or mental pain, good choices and those not so good.  There are hard times and times that are less hard.  There is laughter, joy, and tears.  

As the new year approaches consider how with just one smile, one kind word, might be a reason or a season for just one person.   That is all it takes to change someone's life, one person, caring. 

This message is dedicated to the friend that has left this world all to soon.  You know who you are and I pray we meet again in another season, but for a lifetime. - From my heart, Pat

Reason, Season, or Lifetime
People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.
When you figure out which one it is,
you will know what to do for each person.

When someone is in your life for a REASON,
it is usually to meet a need you have expressed.
They have come to assist you through a difficulty;
to provide you with guidance and support;
to aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually.
They may seem like a godsend, and they are.
They are there for the reason you need them to be.

Then, without any wrongdoing on your part or at an inconvenient time,
this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end.
Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away.
Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand.
What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled; their work is done.
The prayer you sent up has been answered and now it is time to move on.

Some people come into your life for a SEASON,
because your turn has come to share, grow or learn.
They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh.
They may teach you something you have never done.
They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy.
Believe it. It is real. But only for a season.

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons;
things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation.
Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person,
and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life.
It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant. — Unknown

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Season of Giving

Christmas came a few days early for the Carolina Canines for Veterans service dogs in training thanks to Harry Barker Inc.  Carol Perkins, Founder, saw a recent article in the Post and Courier about the Carolina Canines for Veterans program conducted at the Naval Consolidated Brig Charleston and knew it was just the type of thing she wanted to support.    After a few phone calls and exchanges of emails, several of the U. S. Marines handling the dogs, Rick and Pat Hairston, service dogs in training Elder, Eden and Angel, Service Dog Titus and Therapy Dog Delta Mae visited the Harry Barker facility, met the incredible staff and had a little shopping spree.   The dogs and people were like kids in a candy store; they had so much fun!  

Thanks to the generosity of businesses like Harry Barker Inc, Carolina Canines is able to continue to serve our community with programs like Carolina Canines for Veterans, Carolina Canines, Carolina Canines for Therapy and Paws for Reading.  Not one of these programs would be possible without our donors, supporters and volunteers.

Thank you.  Two simple words that can’t be said enough.  Because of your generous support, George has a smile in his voice and a bounce in his step with his new service dog Ruth.  Andy can balance better with Service Dog Manna to pick up items he drops or retrieve the telephone when he needs it.  After two years of sleepless nights, Donald has Service Dog Holly to ease his night terrors and help him deal with everyday life.  Brian is more confident in public because of the skills his Service Dog Jada knows to help with his post traumatic stress disorder.  People in nursing homes and rehabilitation facilities are smiling with a visit from Carolina Canines for Therapy teams.  Children are learning to read better because of the Paws for Reading teams.   Thank you for your continued support and belief in the people we serve and the mission we do.

The Need.  The need is great and it continues. Census data estimates there are 32 million disabled adults (aged 18 or over) in the United States, plus another 5 million children and youth (under age 18).    The number of disabled U.S. Veterans has increased by 25% since 2001; 2.9 million U.S. Veterans.

The Wait. People are waiting for the gift of independence.   More people in our communities want a visit from a pet therapy team and children need your help to learn to read. 

The Ask.  In this season of giving, ask yourself what you can do to help someone in need.  Foster a service dog in training, sponsor a dog with a monthly financial gift, give an end-of-year gift, train and become a certified Carolina Canines for Therapy team, or volunteer.   Get involved and experience the joy of giving in a whole new way.

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Most Important Gift

It's so easy to lose sight of the true meaning of Christmas.  Parents struggle to somehow, through all of the commercialism, teach their children that it is not about Santa, presents,Christmas trees, decorations, parties and sweet treats.  It seems to get harder each year.  The retail stores begin setting up Christmas Shops as early as September and the Christmas music begins playing before Thanksgiving! Black Friday and Cyber Monday ads flood the newspapers and internet trying to suck us into the spending frenzy.  How do you compete with that?   Christians, look to the Gospel of Luke and read the "Christmas Story" each year to their children as a reminder that this is the true meaning of Christmas.  As the story is read, one can't help but hear the voice of Linus from a Charlie Brown Christmas as he declares to Charlie Brown this true meaning of Christmas.  While the show first aired back in the 1960's, it's message may be even more relevant today.  So go ahead, click here to listen - really listen - to it's message.   We hope that you and your family are able to cleverly navigate through the chaos and smoke screens and keep your eyes on the prize of this glorious season.   It is, after all, the most important gift we will ever receive. 

Wishing you and your family a most joyous Christmas!  

Christmas is the season for kindling the fire of hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart."  ~ Washington Irving (1783-1859)  

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Giving Thanks

Brian Jarrell enlisted in the Marine Corps in December 2001, never knowing his service to our country would change his life, significantly.  While deployed to Haiti and Fallujah, Iraq, Jarrell served as an ambulance driver and supported operational needs for humanitarian work.  In September 2005, Jarrell returned to the states and started showing signs of PTSD, major depressive disorder, anger, insomnia and anxiety.  Deployed again in 2006, Jarrell to Al Asad, Iraq, where he was a vehicle recovery operator.  After his tour in Iraq, he became a Marine Corps recruiter and while on recruiting duty, Jarrell's symptoms became increasingly worse and he started getting help at the local Veterans Administration Medical Center in Syracuse, New York.  After three months, he was sent to the Wounded Warrior Detachment at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.  There he received treatment for his symptoms and in April he was sent to the Wounded Warrior Battalion-East aboard MCB Camp Lejeune for continued therapy.  After learning about Carolina Canines for Veterans, Sgt Jarrell working with his case manager at Wounded Warrior Battalion-East, applied for a service dog. 

On November 14th, Brian met Jada, a Boxer-Labrador mix rescued from Adopt-An-Angel, a Wilmington based rescue group.   Jada was with Adopt-An-Angel for several months; she was a real handful and often overlooked or her trial adoptions did not work out.   There was a reason for her not being adopted and when Carolina Canines was in need of another dog for the training program, her mission to serve a service member through her training in the  Carolina Canines for Veterans program was realized.  Jada was in training about 14 months including the transition time due to the program relocation to the Naval Consolidated Brig Charleston.

Brain and Jada spent an intensive week of team training in Charleston so he could learn to work with his service dog.  Jada will work specifically to help mitigate Sgt. Jarrell's issues related to PTSD.  Of his new partner Jarrell says, "Me and Jada are starting to really bond. I am having a great time with her. She is a true blessing. I really need something like this in my life."

To read more about the placement, visit

Carolina Canines for Veterans is proud to serve our service members that need the assistance of a quality trained service dog.  Thank you to our volunteers, supporters, funders and fans for helping to make our mission possible and allowing us to serve our community.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thank a Veteran, Not Just Today, Everyday

"Veterans Day is an annual United States holiday honoring military veterans. A federal holiday, it is observed on November 11. It is also celebrated as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day in other parts of the world, falling on November 11, the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I. (Major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 with the German signing of the Armistice.)" (Wikipedia).

Veterans Day gives each of us a time to pause and reflect on the men, women and even the dogs that have served our country.  Not just served, defended her, and our freedoms, sometimes for the sake of their own lives.   As I pause to reflect, many men in my life have served, my Dad was in the Navy, my brother in the Air Force and my husband served in the Air Force during the Vietnam Era, but I was still being a child during most of the Vietnam conflict and did not fully understand the impact other then the memorable protests and uprising.  As I listen to those that served during that era, I am saddened by the lack of support for our men and women who were doing a job asked of them, the same as the men and women who serve today.  

Today, my life has been touched by the men and women who have served or currently serve our great nation because I am blessed to be a part of a growing organization that works to provide needed services to our wounded warriors.   I see and listen to their sacrifices and struggles to regain their identity and learn who they are after battling devastating injuries, physical, mental or spiritual. I listen as they reach out to find hope and a pathway in a world that has changed and shook them to their very core.   I listen and I hear, not just with my ears but my heart.   And, I triumph in their achievements.

Today, I thank the Veterans in my life that have opened my eyes, my mind and my heart.  Today, I thank you for allowing me to have the honor of serving you in some small way because of Carolina Canines for Veterans.  Thank you for touching my life.  Thank you for letting me be a small part of who you have become.  Next week, Carolina Canines for Veterans will work with the 11th Veteran to receive a service dog from the program.  Eleven lives we have been able to touch one person at a time.  To all the Ed's, Leslie's and Donald's that  I have the honor to know, thank you for allowing Carolina Canines for Veterans serve you.

Monday, November 1, 2010


This time of year, I think about the winds whirling the fallen leaves to the ground and sometimes creating a frenzy of leaves swirling in front of you.  That swirl of leaves is every bit the way we might be feeling at Carolina Canines.  Seems October has whirled it's way to the end of the month in a blink of an eye.  From one event to another we have been chasing our tails to try to catch up with ourselves.

Myrna Joseph presents Service Dog Titus with a check
Special thanks go our to the Shallotte Middle School for a car wash fundraiser Ms. Atkinson's class held as she continues her "Pay It Forward" teaching to our children of the community.  They raised over $300 for the Carolina Canines for Veterans program.  Also, thanks to the Moose Family Lodge on Carolina Beach Rd for hosting a Brunswick Stew dinner and raising funds to support our programs.   Community support is key to our success and we appreciate each and every one of you.

Mid-October found Rick, Pat and Service Dog Titus presenting at a national sales event in California and then returning east for the first Charleston, SC fundraiser held by the Charleston Referral Exchange, Hounds for Heroes.  The event was a great success and plans are starting for a bigger event for 2011.  Thanks to our new Charleston friends for your hard work for an inaugural event.

Back in Wilmington, Jonathon, Bob and the staff of Carrabba's Italian Grill outdid themselves with a scrumptious luncheon benefiting Carolina Canines.  If you missed it this year, we are sure there will be a chance in 2011.

And, back to Charleston for the inaugural event for Passport 72, A Global Masquerade. Passport 72 is an emerging organization dedicated to generating financial and support resources for local charities through the sale of unique home furnishings and accessories.  Stay tuned for the debut of the products at their online store.  We had a sneak peek of some items at the masquerade and the products are beautiful.

November will find us gearing up for the holidays with the sale of fresh cut Frazer fir Christmas trees in both Wilmington and Charleston.  Don't miss your chance to get your Christmas tree and help a great cause all at the same time. Visit the online store to order today.

In the midst of the whirlwind, we have not forgotten our true mission of providing people with disabilities service dogs.  Just before the Thanksgiving holiday, there will be one more Veteran giving thanks for the help and support you provide for our programs as the first Veteran to receive his service dog from the program at the Naval Consolidated Brig will begin his team training mid-November.  Stay tuned to read about this individual and meet him and his new service dog.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Fall... A Happening Time Of Year

Now that the hot days of summer are behind us and the cooler weather has arrived, things are jumping busy again for the crew at Carolina Canines for Service.  In reality, we are always busy, but there are just times it seems like a balancing act has to occur to be all the locations we need to be and get work accomplished back at the shop. 

If you are looking for something to do or want to support our programs, there are plenty of options to choose from.  Or, support all of them.. we'll love you for that! Here's a glance at what is happening on the next couple of weeks:

Coastal Hounds Walk the Town - Join Shallotte and Leland Rotary Clubs for the 2nd Annual Coastal Hounds Walk the Town on October 9, 2010 from 10 am- 1 pm at Shallotte Middle School. This event supports Carolina Canines for Veterans. For more information visit Coastal Hounds Walk the Town.

Military Appreciation Day - October 16, 2010 from 10 am - Noon aboard USS North Carolina Battleship.  An opportunity to show our gratitude and appreciation for our troops who are embattled in the trenches for our country. For those who have served in the past or are currently serving a tour of duty, we want to thank them for putting their lives on the line and an opportunity to support the friends and families of those serving in the military.

Hounds for Hero's - A Canine Good Time, October 17, 2010 from 3 to 6 pm Sweetgrass Pavilion at Wild Dunes Resort. Sponsored by Charleston Referral Exchange and Wild Dunes, Charleston's Island Resort. Advanced Tickets $15; $20 at door; Children under 7yrs Free, 7-13yrs $10. Food, Live Music, Local Vendors, Silent Auction, Prize Drawings, Beer and Wine Available at $2 For more information and to purchase tickets visit the Charleston Referral Exchange.

Carrabba's Fall Italian Feast -  The second annual Fall Italian Feast at Carrabba's Wilmington, NC on Friday, October 22, 2010 seatings at 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.; limited number of take-out orders beginning at 11:00 a.m. Tickets $25.00. To Pre-order your tickets, visit, call 910-362-1818 or email

A Global Masquerade -Passport 72 invites you to join us on Friday, October 29th, 7 p.m. in the ballroom of the prestigious Harbour Club in downtown Charleston for an exciting evening of mystery, intrigue and giving we are calling A Global Masquerade.
Christmas Tree Fundraiser Wilmington, NC - pre-order a fresh-cut Christmas trees from Sunnyside Christmas Tree Farm.  Pre-order, October 1- November 1, 2010 for delivery on December 4, 2010, Wilmington, NC, click here for information or to order on line.

Trees for the Troops - Charleston, SC - coming in November the Charleston community can pre-order fresh-cut Christmas trees to support the programs of Carolina Canines for Service.
We at Carolina Canines appreciate your continued support and we know the community we serve appreciates you too!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Witnessing the American Spirit in Our Volunteers

The Engles,
CCT Team of the Year

During one of the most severe economic crises of our lifetime, while many Americans are facing extreme hardship, losing jobs, homes and businesses, the American spirit is alive and well.  Americans have responded to this crisis by serving.  Approximately 1.6 million more volunteers served in 2009 than in 2008, making this the largest single-year increase in the number of volunteers since 2003.  This number is taken directly from the 2010 Volunteering in America report  published  by the Corporation for National and Community Service.   View the full report here.    Volunteerism lives in the heart of Americans.  It is what unites us as a nation and demonstrates America's strong sense of community.  Our desire to work together and help others is the very foundation of our country and one of the main reasons our country is the greatest nation on earth.  We are so proud of our volunteers and the work they do to serve the mission of Carolina Canines.  Simply put, we could not function without you.  Thank you for your selfless giving , endless dedication and faith in our organization. 
The Stoners,
CCT Team of the Year
Sponsored by the Board of Directors, on September 18th we gathered together for the annual Volunteer Appreciation Picnic. Sharing our success, because of the commitment of our Volunteers, we celebrated the people who give an average of 2500 hours each month as foster puppy parents raising service dogs to give someone greater independence, office and event volunteers, Carolina Canines for Therapy (CCT) teams in Wilmington and Raleigh and our corporate sponsors that come together to make each piece a part of the whole.  Today was a day to share in friendships new and old, human and canine and to celebrate the service of others.  A special thanks to the Board of Directors for arranging, organizing and serving the food catered by Angie's of Chris's Restaurant

Laura Kranchalk presenting
Caroline O'Brien
Overall Volunteer of the Year

Acknowledging our Volunteers is always a special time.  Each year, we look back on the work of our volunteers and we recognize just a few who have stood above the crowd and served above and beyond.  This year, we had the privilege of honoring some special people.    A few of the volunteers recognized were Katherine and Walter Engle and therapy dog Simeon and Nanc and Joe Stoner with Sarah and Hannah as Carolina Canines for Therapy Volunteers of the Year and Caroline O'Brien as Overall Volunteer of the Year.  It is a pleasure to share the blessings these folks are in our community and to our organization. 
Today, it was our honor to serve you.  Thank you.

(Photos by Glenn Blackwood)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Carolina Canines for Veterans 2010 Newman's Own Award Recipient

General James Cartwright, Vice-Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff Presents Awards in Pentagon Ceremony

General James Cartwright, USMC, Vice-Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, provided remarks at the eleventh annual Newman's Own Award Ceremony at the Pentagon on September 1, 2010, as awards totaling $75,000 were presented to eight non-profit organizations for their innovative programs to improve military quality of life.

Carolina Canines for Veterans was a $10,000 award recipient of the 2010 Newman's Own Award. In 2008, CCFS launched a national program, Carolina Canines for Veterans, to assist wounded warriors with a quality trained service dog using military prisoners to train the dogs rescued from local shelters. Operating entirely on private donations, CCFS trains military prisoners to raise and train each service dog. While there are other service dog training programs for wounded warriors, Carolina Canines for Veterans is the first of its kind to work within the walls of a military prison making it unique in the United States. This is the second year that Carolina Canines for Veterans has received the Newman's Own Award.

Newman's Own, Fisher House Foundation, and Military Times Media Group sponsored the competition, which seeks to reward ingenuity and innovation for programs that benefit service men and women and their families. The challenge is straightforward: "Present an innovative plan to improve the quality of life for the military community and receive funding to carry out the plans."

General Cartwright was joined by Tom Indoe, President of Newman's Own; Fisher House Foundation trustee Tammy Fisher; and a representative from Military Times Media Group, in presenting the awards.

Including this year's awards, the annual competition that began in 1999 has recognized 133 programs with awards totaling $650,000.

A total of 138 entries were received for the 2010 program. Six judges evaluated each entry based on the organization's impact to the respective communities, creativity and innovation.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Remembering Katrina

Seems like yesterday we were glued to the news watching the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina on New Orleans and the surrounding areas.  Not only did a major hurricane hit the city, but a secondary event when the levies gave way and the city was flooded and then two additional hurricanes. 

What happened in the aftermath was one of the largest outpourings of love and support from around the country and the world.  Five years has passed and there has been many changes; many residents of New Orleans returned and many choose not to.  The city is rebuilding and will for years to come.

Carolina Canines was forever changed by the events that unfolded in the days and months following the hurricane.  Hurricane Katrina left people devastated and it also left thousands of animals devastated.  The large animal groups like United Animal Nations (UAN) and ASPCA stepped in to assist with the animals, large and small, domesticated and not so domesticated.  These groups worked with smaller organizations throughout the country to save the non-human victims of the hurricane.  Carolina Canines was one of the groups that worked with UAN and ASPCA. 

Carolina Canines Hurricane Katrina Animal Relief saw an outpouring of community support with 260 volunteers working 3500 volunteer hours in just a few short months.  Rescues from many area groups came together to lovingly care for the 53 dogs and cats that arrived in Wilmington.  Over 67% of the animals owners were contacted, Carolina Canines received national and local recognition, 11 dogs were reunited, the others found adoptive homes and all of the cats found adoptive homes. 

To see more about this project, click on the link

We learned a lot from this experience, but perhaps most importantly we learned their are good people in this world that come together to help at a time of need. 

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Carolina Canines for Veterans Relocates and Expands to Charleston Naval Station

Carolina Canines for Service (CCFS) announces the relocation and expansion of the Carolina Canines for Veterans (CCV) program to the Naval Consolidated Brig, Charleston located at Naval Weapons Station Charleston, South Carolina in August 2010 in coordination with Navy Corrections and Programs.

The Carolina Canines for Veterans program was started in January 2008 at the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune and since inception has partnered ten (10) wounded warriors with service dogs trained by military prisoners providing over $400,000 in services to wounded veterans. The Carolina Canines for Veterans program is the first of its kind to work within military prison walls to use prisoners to train service dogs.

The transition of the program to the Navy Consolidated Brig Charleston (NCBC), South Carolina is occurring because the Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC V) realigned the post-trial confinement mission from Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune to the Joint Regional Confinement Facility, South East, located at the NCBC.

Recipients of CCV service dogs have served in all branches of the military and sustained injuries while serving in Operations Iraqi or Enduring Freedom. CCV service dogs are trained to support individual mobility issues and post traumatic stress disorder.

"We have been very happy with the support of the United States Marine Corps and success of the Carolina Canines for Veterans program at Camp Lejeune. The move to Charleston will enable us to grow the program and serve more of our deserving Veterans," says Rick Hairston, Carolina Canines for Service President & CEO. The program is solely funded by the generosity of individuals, corporations and foundations to Carolina Canines for Service. CCFS is seeking new financial partners in Charleston and South Carolina.

Carolina Canines for Service is a non-profit corporation dedicated to empowering people with disabilities to achieve greater independence. The group trains certified service dogs with the help of volunteer foster families, matches the dog to an eligible recipient and provides the dog free of charge. Since its inception in 1996, Carolina Canines has placed 41 service dogs, valued at more than $1.6 million. For more information, call (866) 910-3647 or visit

Monday, July 19, 2010

Holly to Help with Healing

A little over two years ago, Chaplain Donald Twist’s life took a turn he was not expecting. During a training mission in preparation for deployment, a near-death drowning that left him questioning many things, including his faith. The last couple of years have been long, trying and tense.

Balancing healing, family life with his wife Denise and their two children, and a U.S. Navy career as a Chaplain, it all has been too much for Donald at times. The mobility issues he has experienced have paled in comparison to the issues exhibited by the post traumatic stress disorder. Difficulty sleeping, nightmares, difficulty being in crowds and feelings of isolation have compounded Donald’s ability to heal his mind and body.

Last December, two years post injury, Chaplain Twist made a conscience decision to change some things in his life and to move forward. That day, he placed a call to Carolina Canines for Service to ask about a service dog. Initially, asking if we might consider trying his dog, and then learning that is not something our organization did, Donald submitted application for a service dog from Carolina Canines for Veterans. Some months went by, and the call finally arrived that Donald was waiting for. A dog was ready for him and team training was scheduled.

Chaplain Twist met service dog Holly and he knew instantly, this was the dog he had prayed for. Perfect for him in many ways, she looked more like a Labrador retriever then her other possible mixes (Greyhound or Great Dane), was not too large and was short hair.  Holly came from local Wilmington rescue, Tails U Win

Donald embarked on an intense week of training to learn how to work with Holly and begin their bonding process.   On the second full day of training, Donald took Holly back to his hotel with him for the night. During team training, this is when the real bonding begins to happen, when the person and the dog have to rely on each other. The next morning, Donald shared that he experienced his first nightmare free sleep in over two years.

The week of team training has been exhausting, even though Donald has slept better the last few nights with Holly near him, then he has in over two years. He has enjoyed his experience team training with Holly, meeting her military prison handlers and looks forward to her working with him in his home and his duties as a Chaplain. Donald jokingly says, “Holly has a codependent personality disorder and I am completely fine with that.”

Friday, July 9, 2010

Community Support Through Giving

Carolina Canines for Service depends on the generosity of individuals, groups and civic organization to support the programs that serve our community. Recently the Shallotte Masonic Lodge 727 held a fundraiser to support the Carolina Canines for Veterans program.

Harvard Holden presented Rick Hairston with a check for $1,585 which the Shallotte Masonic Lodge 727 raised by raffling a custom cane. These funds will assist a Veteran to receive their service dog and be used to help in the expenses of team training when a recipient is partnered with their dog.

There are many people who want to be involved can help. The greatest need remains for people to foster a service dog in training with in the Wilmington, NC or Myrtle Beach, SC programs. Our ability to provide quality trained service dogs to those that need them depends of the generosity and commitment of people in our communities.

Another way to help is to hold a fundraiser like Shallotte Masonic Lodge 727 did. There are many ideas for fundraisers from bake sales to home shows.

Carolina Canines for Service encourages third party events (i.e. golf outings, marathons, sales benefiting Carolina Canines, etc). As an event organizer, we ask that interested individuals provide all the elements needed to complete the event promotion. If you want our involvement in the event, then before an individual, company or organization proceeds with a special event or promotion to benefit the Carolina Canines, we do request the completion of a fundraising agreement be provided by the Carolina Canines. To receive a copy of the fundraising agreement, email us at

Friday, June 4, 2010

Brightening a Child's Day

Meet Elsie and Chloe, one of our Carolina Canines for Therapy teams here in Wilmington. Elsie and Chloe have been visiting the The Betty H. Cameron Women's and Children's Hospital on the campus of New Hanover Regional Medical Center every Thursday. Chloe has taken a liking to the aquarium. After a stop at the nurses station to find out which rooms would like a visit, Elsie and Chloe spend time with patients, making their day a little brighter. "The child's first reaction is complete surprise to have a dog come into their room. Usually a parent is there and they always tell me how much the child enjoyed the encounter", says Elsie.

Elsie and Chloe are providing a tremendous gift to the patients when they visit with them. Our heartfelt thanks go out to Elsie and Chloe and all of our fantastic volunteers that are making a difference in our community with therapy visits.

If you would like more information about how to get involved as a Carolina Canines for Therapy team please visit our website at and we can help you get plugged in.

Friday, May 14, 2010

And Then There were Five (legs)

Andy met Manna, a rescued two year old Border Collie mix, in May 2010 almost 5 1/2 years after is Alive Day. Andrew Butterworth is a retired U.S. Army National Guard Sergeant who proudly served our country in Iraq. Andy's life was forever changed on November 15. Members of their platoon were on patrol near the town of Tuz Kharmatu, north of Baghdad, doing reconnaissance on a place they'd never been before in the turret of a Bradley fighting vehicle, an armored personnel carrier. There were six soldiers in the back of the vehicle and 20 soldiers in their convoy, but Andy and his lieutenant were the only two seriously injured; the insurgents were killed.

Andy was familiar with Carolina Canines; he and recipient Ed Salau (Tales & Tails Christmas 2007), 1st LT NC Army National Guard, Retired, have been through a lot together. Injured when the grenade exploded between them on that fateful day in November 2004, Andy and Ed journeyed together on their path of healing from room mates at Walter Reed, seeing who had their stitches out first, who healed the fastest, who received their temporary leg first to receiving their Purple Hearts. And, now, Andy follows a similar path as Ed, having gained a new four-legged friend to help him with his mobility.

The partnering of Andy with Service Dog Manna is the 8th pairing of a wounded veteran with a service dog from the Carolina Canines for Veterans (CCV) program. Manna was trained by the prisoners at the Marine Corp Base Camp Lejeune Brig. Manna's story is like many discarded dogs. She was found on the streets of Wilmington, NC by a former employee of Queensboro Shirt Company severely underweight and missing most of her hair. When the person could not keep her, Manna was turned over to Tails U Win rescue for care and adoption. In November 2008, Carolina Canines was looking to add dogs into the CCV program, Manna, formerly know as Madison, was a good candidate.

Through this pairing of Veteran and Service Dog, one thing has prevailed, Andy's sense of humor. Fondly known as Butter, Andy now has his own "bread" to share life with. Andy is currently enrolled in college in Florida. He and Manna will return home to continue their bonding and work together as Andy learns to use his new friend to assist with his daily needs giving him four new legs.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Walk for Those Who Can't Thank You

Our fourth annual Walk For Those Who Can’t was a great success, thanks to you!

Thanks to the support of our sponsors and donors, teams and individuals walkers we were able to raise almost $50,000. There were 37 teams, 450 walkers and 300 dogs joining us for this years’ event. The money raised will be used to support our mission and help us continue to help others.

Thanks to our sponsors including Home Health Testing, Talk Inc., The Queensboro Shirt Company, DogLiving, WECT, Brightmore of Wilmington, Wilmington Orthotics & Prosthetics, Ruth Arnold Signs & Graphics, Port City Java, Sunrise Broadcasting along with SunnyFM and Surf 98.3, Papa John's, Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Realty , Harris Teeter- Long Leaf Mall and Oleander, Health Source of Wilmington, and PawPrints Magazine.

A special thank you to our co-masters of ceremony, Sally Pressman and Rhoda Griffis of the Lifetime TV series Army Wives and to Mayor Bill Saffo, Leslie Smith and DJ Jay Tatum; your support of our programs is appreciated.

Thank you to the donors of fabulous items for the raffle including Hilton Wilmington Riverside, Jerry's Fine Dining, Porters Neck Yoga Spa, Residence Inn Landfall, Riverboat Landing, and Ruth Chris Steak House.

To our hospitality sponsors The Bagel Basket, Costco, Danette Brown- Pampered Chef, Jamie Swanson-Pampered Chef , Great Harvest Bread Company, Hercules Bags, Inc., Indian Spring Water, and McAlisters Deli, thank you.

Thank you to Carrabba's Italian Grill for the gathering for the Top Team, The Dawg Pile. And, South Beach Grill for the gift certificate for the Top Individual Fundrasier, Nina Dunn.

Thank you to the Veterinary practices that sponsored the dog bandanas: Pine Valley Animal Hospital, The Mobil Vet - House Calls for Pets, Forest Hills Veterinary Hospital, Coastal Carolina Animal Hospital.

And, thank you to the Goody Bag sponsors including Casey Petraceuticals , Great Clips, Kornerstone Pizza, Pet's Pal Inn and Westco Woodworks.

Thank you to the Team Captains and Team and the individuals for their support of our programs and raising money for the Walk for Those Who Can’t. And, the thank you would not be complete without extending our sincere appreciation to the Walk for Those Who Can’t Co-Chairs, Committees and Volunteers. As a non-profit we rely on the generosity of individuals like you coming together to help us help continue to help others through fundraising events.

We look forward to you joining with us to take strides for independence at the 5th Walk For Those Who Can’t on March 26, 2011.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Thank You to Our Volunteers

During National Volunteer Week, Carolina Canines for Service extends our sincere appreciation for each and every one of our Volunteers. You are the cornerstone of this organization. Without you, our clients would not have the service dog they need to make them more independent, people in the hospitals, assisted living and nursing homes would not smile as bright during a day, children would not learn to love to read, we would not be able to be at the many events in our community and fundraisers like the Walk for Those Who Can't could not take place.

Thank you for the many hours you give each week, month and year!


Rick Hairston

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Access, It's the Law

In a recent news story, a service dog was denied access to a local store in Castle Hayne. The sad truth is, this happens every day in our community and throughout this country irrespective of local and federal laws. There are several businesses that Carolina Canines is aware of that regularly deny access to service dogs and service dogs in training. Measures are and have been taken to educate the business owner and there staff. Sometimes those measures include legal action.

While Carolina Canines provides people with disabilities quality trained service dogs, we are also here to educate the community and business owners. Here are a few simple differences businesses owners should be aware of:

A companion dog is just that; a companion. It is a persons’ pet. And, while we love our pets, most have not been appropriately socialized and should not be allowed to accompany the owner everywhere they go.

A therapy dog is a person’s pet that has been trained to volunteer with the person in the community. These animals provide affection and comfort to many people in different environments. THIS DOG HAS NO LEGAL ACCESS and can only gain entrance to a facility by invitation. There are many organizations that train therapy dogs, but the standards of training are all different.

A service dog is one that is trained to do specific tasks for a person with a disability. The Codes of Federal Regulation for the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 define a service animal as "any guide dog, signal dog, or other animal individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including, but not limited to, guiding individuals with impaired vision, alerting individuals with impaired hearing to intruders or sounds, providing minimal protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair [sic], or fetching dropped items." There are some exceptions, including churches, private clubs, federal courts, military bases, and Native American tribal council offices. And, federal laws protect people with disabilities partnered with service animals from discrimination in housing, Fair Housing Amendments Act, and on aircraft, Air Carrier Access Act.

Businesses must allow service animals into their establishment. But, it is often a difficult task determining the validity of the animal entering your business. The sad reality of the ADA is identification is not mandated, many disabilities are not visible and a proprietor cannot ask if the person is disabled. The business owner can however ask what tasks the service animal provides, such as “How does the animal serve you?” And, for both business owners and people with service animals, if the animal is disruptive such as barking, growling, defecating or urinating in the business, the establishment has every right to ask the person to remove the service animal.

The reality is countless individuals are perpetrating crimes by falsely accessing local businesses with their “pocket” pets or other animals. This is a violation of federal law, the ADA, and North Carolina state statues; both violations punishable by law. Worst yet, it makes it more and more difficult for people with legitimate service animals to have the access they indeed need to live independent lives.