Sit, stay … farewell: After 2 years, dog nearly ready to be service animal

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Zoe the dog practices commands with volunteer puppy raiser Bonnie Bakke in downtown Stillwater April 5. (Gazette staff photo by Jonathan Young)

Zoe the dog practices commands with volunteer puppy raiser Bonnie Bakke in downtown Stillwater April 5. (Gazette staff photo by Jonathan Young)

Saying goodbye won’t be easy.

It won’t be easy, but Bonnie Bakke knew this day would come when she agreed to raise Zoe, a yellow lab/golden retriever mix. That was nearly two years ago.

“I got her when she was eight weeks old, and her birthday is the 28th of April,” Bakke said.

Zoe was raised to be a service dog through Can Do Canines, an organization that trains and provides dogs to people with disabilities. With financial support from the Stillwater Lions Club, Bakke volunteered to be a puppy raiser.

“Out club was having a brainstorming session about what we can do to amp up our service,” Bakke said. “One of the focuses of Lions is diabetes — macular degeneration and diabetes. Someone in the club knew about Can Do Canines, and said they raise diabetic assist dogs.”

Dogs trained by the organization may also become other types of service dogs, such as hearing assist, mobility assist, seizure assist and autism assist dogs. Each animal is matched with a client based on its skill set and disposition.

Continue reading this Stillwater Gazette story.

 

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