Josh & Levi – A Partnership Story
CANINE PARTNERS OF THE ROCKIES BEGINS SUMMER CAMPAIGN TO RAISE FUNDS FOR NEW SERVICE DOG TRAINING FACILITY
Facility will help train more dogs to help Coloradans with disabilities
DENVER, May 31, 2017 – In 2004, Joshua Jay suffered a life-changing injury in a car crash. He had broken his neck and was paralyzed from the neck down, unable to move his arms or legs.
To enhance his independence and pursue his dreams, including earning his college degree, Joshua reached out to Canine Partners of the Rockies (CaPR), a Colorado non-profit that raises, trains and places highly skilled dogs with Coloradans in need of mobility assistance.
“Rico was my first service dog. He took good care of me, and he made going to college possible,” said Joshua. “We were inseparable, but when he died of cancer, I was shattered and sunk into a really bad depression.”
Joshua recently began a new partnership with another service dog from Canine Partners named Levi.
Like all of CaPR’s service dogs, Levi was raised and trained by CaPR trainers and volunteers. Puppies spend 20 to 24 months with volunteer puppy trainers who teach foundational skills and basic obedience, attend weekly training sessions, and provide access to public settings – all necessary skills for a successful service dog. The puppies then spend up to six months with a professional trainer, who teaches advanced service dog skills using positive reinforcement training methods. When the dogs are ready, CaPR follows evaluation standards to ensure the right dog is matched to the right applicant. Throughout the partnership, CaPR provides hands-on support, encouragement and training when needed.
Because the number of applicants for a dog far outpaces the number of dogs placed – by a more than 10-to-1 margin in 2016 – CaPR is kicking off a campaign to raise the funds needed to develop a training facility that will increase the number of dogs that can be trained concurrently.
“Our new training facility will allow us to increase our annual dog placements and help support the emotional and physical well-being of more Coloradans with disabilities,” said Angela Eaton, Canine Partner’s Executive Director.
On his new service dog, Joshua said, “Levi is a big goofball – I have high hopes that this is going to work out great, and I’m going to have a new buddy that can help me so I can be out and about loving life again.”
Joshua’s story is captured in a video CaPR showcased at its recent fundraiser. CaPR wishes to thank documentary filmmakers Olivia Ahnemann (co-producer of the Oscar-winning documentary “The Cove”), Matt Kennedy, Lyman Smith and Catherine Yrisarri, who donated their time and talents to film, direct and produce the video featuring Joshua Jay and his CaPR-trained service dogs Rico and Levi.
ABOUT CANINE PARTNERS OF THE ROCKIES
Canine Partners of the Rockies raises, trains and places highly skilled service dogs with Coloradans with a variety of disabilities. CaPR assist clients in leading more independent and gratifying lives by partnering them with highly skilled assistance dogs.