When Tucker Winfrey went for an ordinary swim at the beach back in 2013, he was not expecting what would happen to him. Sadly, something went terribly wrong when he dove into an ocean wave. Winfrey broke his neck, which caused him to be a quadriplegic!
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Certainly, Winfrey’s disability changed his life, and things that were used to be so simple became impossible to be done!
Winfrey says, “I’m finding ways to compensate and do daily tasks and then make them comfortable. It is a lot of adapting.”
Fortunately, Winfrey now has Farrah, the service dog who gives him a big leap of independence. The Golden Lab mix, Farrah was receiving training as a service dog since she was only 8 weeks old. This adorable pup has been trained and socialized through the Canine Companions For Independence program.
Throughout programs like this, pups are being trained to become professional service dogs. Service dogs like Farrah are amazingly helpful for disabled people like Winfrey, and it is truly pleasing to see many people having such adorable companions who would unconditionally love them, take good care of them, and help them go through life.
People give away their puppies for training at the age of 8 weeks old. These puppies are transported to live with individuals called Puppy Raisers, who are fully responsible for training them until they reach 20 months old.
With Puppy Raisers, these puppies go under a set of professional and very specific training in several environments that they may encounter with their future owners. After 18 months of training, the puppies graduate and become ready to go serving their new owners.
Abby Hannell was Fattah’s, Puppy Raiser. She is happy to see that Winfrey and Farrah are paired
“Being able to train a dog that would impact somebody’s life the way she’s going to impact Tucker’s life — it is just one of the greatest things I could think of even doing,” she says.
It is pretty clear how Farrah is making a huge change in Winfrey’s life.
“I think it is huge. I think that everyone with a disability should have the opportunity because they are amazing dogs. The possibilities are endless with Farrah at my side,” Winfrey says.
What do you think of the idea of pairing service dogs with humans with special needs? Please tell us in a comment!
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[ Via / Little Things ]