Golden Deeds

Hereabouts:Couple train puppies to help people
By Beth Anspach, Contributing Writer

But, according to Esther, the day that changed their retirement from a rather peaceful existence to one of constant activity, happened at a local Meijer store, when the Browns first met a “puppy raiser” who worked for an organization called Canine Companions for Independence (CCI).

“We spotted a puppy in training in the store and since we’ve always been animals lovers, we naturally wanted to know more,” Esther Brown said. The Browns quickly found out that CCI had a regional office in Delaware, Ohio, and would be holding an open house for potential puppy raisers that next weekend.

And it was this meeting that started the Browns on the path to a post-retirement career, of sorts, and they soon found themselves raising an 8-week-old golden retriever puppy named Joanne.

“CCI provided training and gave us specific rules we had to follow in raising a companion dog,” Brown said. “And, after more than a year, we returned the dog to them for more specific training.”

Joanne soon went to live with a young boy in St. Marys who had cerebral palsy.

Today, the Browns are happily raising their ninth puppy, Romilla, that came to live with them in September. “We teach them basic commands and good manners — not to jump on people or furniture — that kind of thing,” she said, “and more specialized commands like ‘under’ and ‘up,’ that they will need to know when assisting their companions.”

There’s more …..

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