Tonight we ventured East to the facility training center for our region's CCI chapter. This was our third visit, but first visit to the 4-H club that is directed as an extension of CCI. I was told tonight's class was a fairly large turn-out of members; they finally were "all in town" this summer week to attend class. It made for an interesting observation.
Once again, we were with out a dog, but there was an extra to spare and my son was quick to accept the offer of the leash. My daughter elected to not take a turn, she (like I) enjoys learning through observation until we have a dog assigned to us full time. The dog my son worked with was a released dog from the program - so she had all the smarts from CCI training, but did not graduate from the advanced training school.
Each time we attend class we learn, and tonight's message was clear. There is a great and real need for service dogs in our communities. The unique aspect of this 4-H class is the membership is open to children of all ages who are a CCI Puppy Raiser, and those who are Handler's of a CCI graduate.
Another woman sat next to me observing the class. She leaned over to introduce herself. She shared that her daughter was a 4-H Club Officer, and pointing to the dog her daughter held by leash, she confidently said, "That was my son's Service Dog. He has passed away. That dog is now our pet, but my daughter continues to bring the dog to 4-H."