Although Kinkeade is all grown up now and working hard in professional training, we can’t forget about those adorable puppy days. A lot of hard work and a lot of fun went into puppy Kinkeade before his move to the Kinkeade Campus.

Kinkeade was raised by Jennifer, her husband Scott and their sons, Austin and Mason of Plano, Texas. Kinkeade was their fourth puppy to raise, and they are currently raising number five. After watching two of their puppies graduate and change the lives of the people they were matched with, the family was hooked. Now, they hope for the same future for Kinkeade.

Jennifer and her family received Kinkeade at eight weeks old and spent approximately 18 months teaching him nearly 30 basic commands and socializing him in different environments to get him ready for professional training. From trips to stores and restaurants, to learning nice house manners, to lots of play time and love, Canine Companions volunteer puppy raisers play a huge role in preparing these dogs for their special futures.

Then comes the hard part. The goodbyes are never easy, but, as Jennifer says, “they have a greater purpose.” Plus, there’s always the reunion at graduation to look forward to.

“When you see who they go to and you see how much they are helping somebody, it’s all worth it,” said Jennifer.

Check out this fun video from Kinkeade’s early days.

If you are interested in raising a puppy like Kinkeade, visit cci.org/raise.