Newest member of Vail Mountain School helping students with its wagging tail
Canine Companions for Independence dog joins VMS
Kate Drescher, a psychologist at Vail Mountain School, recently graduated from two weeks of training and received a facility dog from Canine Companions for Independence, a nonprofit organization that breeds, raises and trains assistance dogs for people with disabilities.
Facility dogs are expertly trained dogs partnered with a facilitator working in a health care, visitation or education setting. Drescher was matched with facility dog Beignet, a 2-year-old Golden Retriever. Beignet is the first Canine Companions facility dog in the Vail Valley.
Beignet has been professionally trained in over 40 commands to assist Drescher as she works with students at Vail Mountain School. In addition to performing physical tasks, Beignet will also help motivate students and offer emotional support. One of the most valued qualities of a facility dog is the unconditional love and attention it gives to the clients with whom it interacts.
Drescher graduated with Beignet after completing an intense, residential, two-week team training course at Canine Companions’ Southwest Regional Center in Oceanside, California. During Team Training, students are strategically matched with assistance dogs and learn how to work with them safely and effectively. Though costs to breed, raise, train an assistance dog and provide ongoing support to the team are estimated at $50,000, Canine Companions assistance dogs are provided free of charge to recipients.
Drescher is excited to have Beignet by her side to help her reach more children at school.
“Beignet will undoubtedly have a profound effect on my school community,” Drescher said in a news release. “She will help me establish connections with children who may not otherwise feel as comfortable seeking me out.”
About Canine Companions for Independence
Canine Companions for Independence provides expertly-trained assistance dogs to children, adults and military veterans with disabilities. Established in 1975, Canine Companions has six training centers across the country, including two in California, one in Florida, Ohio, New York and Texas. Canine Companions is recognized worldwide for the excellence of its dogs, and the quality and longevity of the matches it makes between dogs and people. Although the price to raise, train and provide ongoing support for our dogs is estimated at $50,000, Canine Companions for Independence provides assistance dogs free of charge to recipients. For more information, call 1-800-572-BARK or visit http://www.cci.org.
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