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Trained Facility Dog Visits Victims Injured in Boston Bombings

Canine Companions for Independence Assistance Dog Wena Received an Emotional Greeting From a Six-Year-Old Boy Who Is Recovering From His Injuries at Boston Medical Center

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwired - April 29, 2013) -  Last week, Laurie and Wena were invited by Boston Medical Center officials to visit the hospital's Trauma Unit, and meet patients and their families recovering from the recent Boston tragedy. Laurie Myers, head of a non-profit victims advocacy group was accompanied by her specially trained four-legged partner, Wena, a 3-year-old black lab and golden retriever cross. They've been a team since 2011 when Laurie applied for a facility dog from Canine Companions for Independence, the nation's largest non-profit providers of assistance dogs to children and adults with disabilities.

One of the first she met was a six-year-old boy who had just been removed from a life-saving ventilator the day before. The young boy told Laurie how much he missed his dog, and loved every minute he spent with Wena. Laurie also met with a husband and wife who both lost legs in the bombing. The couple had their own black lab, and said they were thrilled by the visit. Laurie met with 3 other victims and their families, leaving them literature about how to apply for their own assistance dog with Canine Companions once their medical condition allows it.

Since November of 2011, Wena's job had been to be at the side of an abused child or violent crime victim when they are giving recorded interviews that will be used in court.

Wena graduated from Canine Companions after completing Team Training, an extensive training session at Canine Companions' Northeast Regional Center in Medford, NY. During Team Training, Laurie learned all of Wena's 40-plus commands and how to properly care for her. Team Training is an essential part of the program because it gives the recipient an opportunity to learn how to work with and benefit from an assistance dog. The process consists of daily lectures, exams, practice, and public outings.

Thanks to generous supporters, Canine Companions assistance dogs are provided free of charge to children, adults and military veterans with disabilities, creating life-changing transformation and independence.

About Canine Companions for Independence

Canine Companions for Independence is the largest non-profit provider of trained assistance dogs with five regional training centers across the country. Established in 1975, Canine Companions provides highly trained assistance dogs to children and adults with disabilities and is recognized worldwide for the excellence of its dogs, and quality and longevity of the matches it makes between dogs and people. There is no charge for the dog, its training and on-going follow-up services. For more information, visit cci.org or call 1-800-572-BARK.

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