Last Friday was special. It was hard and emotional, but it was certainly special. It was the day the volunteer puppy raisers of the Eukanuba-sponsored Hero Litter returned their puppies to Canine Companions to begin professional training.

The puppy raisers knew what they were signing up for. They knew they would bond and fall in love with the puppies they were raising. They knew it would be so very difficult to give back the amazing and wonderful dogs they’d raised in the hopes that they would fulfill their purpose of becoming life-changing assistance dogs.

Our puppy raisers are often asked, “How can you ever give them back?” It’s a simple question with a complex answer. We asked the Hero Litter puppy raisers to share a little bit about their puppy raising experience and why they do what they do.

“I believe it is a privilege and an honor to be able to raise any Canine Companions puppy,” shares Sue, Hala’s puppy raiser. “I am proud of Hala and myself for all we have accomplished in the last 18 months. Believe me, the emotions were high and many tears were shed, but I am looking to the future and what amazing things she will do. I know Hala will give it her all and no matter what happens, she will make a difference in someone’s life!”


“Raising Harpo was so much fun! It was so rewarding to watch her grow from a silly little puppy to a strong, confident and still silly big dog. We wish her all the luck in professional training and know she’ll make us proud!”


“Hudson was such a blessing to us,” says Diesta, Hudson’s puppy raiser.  “He loved to learn and would respond so wonderfully to praise; his tail seemed to always be wagging and he just exuded happiness! While on outings, people constantly commented on his demeanor.  The past 18 months were so exciting for us, as we were able to share the growth and continued success of our pup. We will certainly miss him, as he made us smile every day…and he was always smiling back.”


Holly’s puppy raiser Donna says, “The very day I picked up Holly, our adventures began. She had such a spirit and a never-ending curiosity of ‘what’s next?’  Holly made us smile, laugh and just as important, she made us proud.” Donna continues, “We are so appreciative of Eukanuba for sponsoring the Hero Litter and their longtime support of Canine Companions for Independence. I’m truly honored to have been part of all this.”

Holly and Hoagy
Holly and Hoagy

Hoagy’s puppy raiser Julie says, “There were endless trainable moments! Hoagy was always learning, growing and mastering a task.  It was so much fun!” She continues, “There was also love. Hoagy always wanted to please.  He had a very strong desire to nurture and shared so much love with us. We will miss him so much and there is a deep sense of loss. The bond that developed between our family and Hoagy was very strong and I continually had to remind my family of his purpose. I am so proud to have helped Hoagy on his journey towards becoming a Canine Companions assistance dog.”

Thank you for the dedication and love of our mission. We are so proud of all the dogs!

Take a look at the video below to see the journey of the Hero Litter.

Watch our graduation ceremonies from last week.

Make a donation in honor of the Hero Litter.

One thought on “Raising a Hero Litter Puppy

  1. What a beautiful video! This reminds me of my wonderful Laramee, a yellow lab that I got at four and a half months. We had only 5 short years together after he contracted Lyme’s Disease. I couldn’t understand how that could happen when he had all vaccinations and I regularly checked him for ticks, kept him well groomed, etc. What an unfortunate and deep felt loss. I thank you for sharing that video.

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