It’s amazing how quickly 18 months goes by when you’re loving, training and caring for a Canine Companions puppy. The early days of sleepless nights and chewed up toys quickly turn into trips to the local library and perfecting “sit” and “down.” The funny and uncoordinated pup has grown into a strong and confident dog who knows how to climb steps with ease, stay focused in any situation and is ready for the professional training it takes to become a life changing assistance dog. The Hero Litter is ready for this next part of their journey and will be returning to Canine Companions Training Centers in November.

While the pup may be prepared and ready for this transition, the volunteer puppy raiser often is not. These generous and unselfish people have fallen in love with the dogs and it is usually with tears they say goodbye. The love letters that follow were written by the puppy raisers of the Eukanuba-sponsored Hero Litter. They are full of hope, joy and so much pride.


Dear Hala,
“They say a person needs just three things to be truly happy in this world: someone to love, something to do and something to hope for.” ― Tom Bodett   
You have given me all this and more every day! You are so full of life! You are loving and comforting, and a joy to have by my side. My hope is you can be this for someone else too!
Love, Sue


Dear Harpo,
We knew we’d love our new puppy but didn’t realize just how much! You have brought so much laughter and love to our lives. You are truly a special and very funny dog. 
Much love, Erin and Chris


Dear Harvest,
You will be dearly missed. You have provided me, and those who are lucky enough to know you, an endless amount of joy. You have grown to be a wonderful dog that is confident, intelligent, playful and ALWAYS happy. 
Your proud puppy raiser, Maggie


Dear Holly,
When we got you at 8 weeks old, we looked for your angel wings – the lighter line of fur that falls along your shoulders. My job as your volunteer puppy raiser was to help you grow those wings. And you have. You are ready for the next step in your training and we’ll send you off with a tight hug and a kiss on the nose. And tears, of course. We filled you up with love over these last months, so you can carry that inside yourself and continue sharing. 
All my love, Donna


Dear Hudson,
You are the sweetest, most gentle and fun puppy, and have been a wonderful addition to our family for the past 18 months.  We will miss you immensely, but are so proud of your progress and willingness to keep learning. Go Hudson, and make your trainers equally as proud.  You’re destined for greatness and will always be our hero. 
Missing you already, Diesta


Dear Hoagy,
It’s truly been a blessing for our family to have had the opportunity to raise you; a loving, attentive, playful, and super smart dog.  My heart is filled with gratitude knowing that you, the handsome pup we’ve helped raise, will make another person’s life so much better.
Hugs and kisses, Julie


Dear Harbor,
You have brought us so much joy and happiness.  Your love, tenderness and zest for life will be missed in our family and the Santa Barbara community forever. 
Always yours, Chrissie



We are so grateful to our puppy raisers! It’s their love and commitment that shape and prepare our puppies. It’s their love for our mission that allows us to provide assistance dogs free of charge to people with disabilities. We will always be thankful for their sacrifice and dedication.

Thank you to all the puppy raisers who have shared their life and love with our puppies.

Learn more about puppy raising

Make a donation in honor of the Hero Litter

3 thoughts on “Love Letters to the Hero Litter

  1. No one knows just how great these dogs are, until you raise one. We have loved Herb so much and he has been a great part of Bill and I. It has been so great seeing my sons family involved with Herb. We have all been amazed how smart and loving he has been. He has brought a joy to our lives.

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