Eighteen Canine Companions for Independence assistance dogs have been nominated for a Hero Dog Award! We are featuring some of their stories here, directly from the dogs’ human partners. Here’s our first one, don’t forget to vote each day!

With Yazzen by my side, I’m going places (independently)! Help us get to the top; ask your friends and family to show their support for this hero, along with you.

Hi all,

I entered my Service Dog Yazzen into the American Humane Association’s Hero Dog Awards and we would appreciate your votes. As a social worker and individual with a disability, I understand the importance of raising awareness to certain causes. I entered him in these awards because I wanted to raise public awareness regarding service dogs and the important work they are trained to do and possibly give back to the organization that has given me so much.

I have a neurological condition known as Cerebral Palsy. Life before Canine Companions for Independence was good but I was dependent on others. When I dropped something or needed an item out of my reach I had to ask someone for it. At college if I needed to use the restroom I had to ask someone to come with me just to ensure I would be able to get the main door open once it was closed.  At home if I wanted down on the couch or up from it, I had to ask for help.

In August of 2005, my life changed when I was matched with Yazzen, a black Labrador-Golden Retriever cross. He has been a Godsend and I am so thankful to my professors whom wouldn’t let me out of my finals when I first got the team training call, because if they had, I wouldn’t have him. Yazzen does more than helping me up/down tugging open doors, picking up things I drop, retrieving the phone or remote. He can also help me pick up my laundry, my shoes and braces and even help me take off my socks and coat if I need him too. He’s my best friend and I love him for making me laugh every day and enriching my life in countless ways; He’s my hero and at the moment volunteering for Canine Companions is Team Chally’s soul and sole purpose in life.

If you are 18 or older, please join us in raising awareness about service dogs while attempting to give back to Canine Companions by casting your vote for him in the service dog category. If we win our category, Canine Companions will receive $ 5,000. Vote every day by visiting the Hero Dog Awards website  and clicking Vote for Yazzen.

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