On September 14, 2012, Canine Companions for Independence along with corporate sponsor Eukanuba introduced the world to eight newborn pups – Emma, Everett, Ella, Elmo, Euka, Emily, Ethan and Eliza, a.k.a “the E Litter.”
First family photo
Their journey to extraordinary began that day and we’ve been following them ever since. From being placed with their volunteer puppy raisers, working on challenging commands and socialization to the developing advanced skills in professional training and participating in Team Training, the E Litter has met many milestones both large and small. These wonderful dogs have given us great insight into what it takes to become a life-changing assistance dog.
We are thrilled to announce that seven of the eight E Litter pups have achieved this milestone and we have every confidence they will continue to meet new challenges and opportunities with the grace and strength they’ve shown since they day they were born.
Read on to find out more about the E Litter and the people they have been matched with.
Emma VI-First-born Emma was placed with Michael as a skilled companion. Emma will help Michael be more confident with his peers and offer him assistance with difficult tasks he encounters. “A best friend for my son that will help build him up and overcome social stigmas,” says Michael’s dad, David. Well done Emma!
Ella V-Ella was placed as a service dog with Jenny. “She will make everyday tasks easier at work and home,” says Jenny. “Now, with confidence, I can go out into the world and no longer be afraid of new settings or situations. I’m part of a team now!” Jenny is a teacher and Ella is already helping change perceptions as students no longer see Jenny as the teacher in a wheelchair; now she’s the teacher with the cool dog!
Elmo IV-“I live on my own at college and I thought an assistance dog would be a great help when I drop things, so I won’t have to go knock on people’s doors to get help,” explains David. David has a spinal cord injury and learned about Canine Companions through his therapy with one of our facility dogs. Now David has Service Dog Elmo to help him every day!
Euka II-From day one, we knew Euka was special. And we were right! Euka is now Don’s partner as well as a constant companion and helper. “Having a Canine Companions assistance dog is a big help for Don in social interactions, helping Don talk by using commands and being a calming influence in his life,” says Don’s mom, Crystal.
Emily IV-“God had a plan!” explains Wendy, Brianna’s mother. “My husband deployed to Afghanistan right before Team Training. He hadn’t deployed in 14 years. Team Training was a good distraction for us.” Brianna was matched with Skilled Companion Emily and they have been best friends ever since. “I love Emily,” says Brianna. “I am so happy that she is my dog.” We know this team will make an impact on everyone who meets them.
Ethan IV-Ryan, who served in both the United States Marine Corp and was Captain in the United States Army, applied for an assistance dog to help him be more independent. Service Dog Ethan was the right dog for the job. Ethan helps retrieve dropped items, open and close doors, turn lights off and on and get items off of the counter. “We are doing great and it’s like Ethan has lived with me at home my whole life,” says Ryan. “I now have the confidence and independence I need to live my life to the fullest.” Good boy Ethan!
Eliza III-A real sweetheart of a puppy, Eliza has become a skilled companion to Braydon, a young boy with ataxia. Braydon’s condition affects his speech and causes him to have troubles balancing. Bending over can cause him to fall, but now he has Eliza to help him pick stuff up and open doors. “I was worried for a short time with Braydon’s balance problems,” explains Braydon’s mom, Jamie. “He would bump into her, but she has become accustomed to his jerky movements. He holds onto her collar or vest and she walks with him wagging her tail. He just loves her!” Atta girl Eliza!
Everett IV– Not every one of our puppies makes it as an assistance dog. Everett decided that wasn’t the life for him. He is now a beloved pet of the Lanman family. “Everett has been so awesome since he has become a part of our family. We love him so much!” says Cindy Lanman. “I would have the say his favorite thing is being outside playing, either with the neighbor dog or with the kids just being outside whenever he can.”
This truly is an impressive group of pups! We are extremely proud of the work they are doing and the positive impact they will have on the lives of so many.
A great big THANK YOU goes out to the breeder caretakers, volunteer puppy raisers, “extreme puppy watchers” (you know who you are), donors and other supporters for all the interest and efforts you’ve put into this extraordinary litter. The work these dogs do is a direct result of your dedication and fine work.
And of course, we are so grateful for the support of our corporate partner Eukanuba for sponsoring this amazing litter.
Thank you for following the E Litter’s Journey to Extraordinary!
Learn more about puppy raising.
Learn more about our assistance dogs.