Mike and Tracy first began volunteering with Can Do Canines three years ago after the local chapter of their previous assistance dog group, Leader Dogs for the Blind, disbanded. Wanting to continue their assistance dog work, they found Can Do Canines through an online search. Since that time, they’ve helped raise four assistance dogs and taken on several puppy-sitting opportunities.
Regarding their volunteer experience, the couple says, “We are very committed to training service dogs to help other people. We take our responsibilities very seriously. We view the dog we currently have as our “best dog”; this helps us to mold each dog to become the best it can be without comparing it to past dogs. Just like people, they each have their strengths and weaknesses but all have high potential in their own way.”
They continue, “It is very rewarding and you don’t need to be an expert. It is rewarding at the dog level to see how you shaped the dog for service work and it is rewarding at the society level to help others lead a more meaningful life.”
When asked what has surprised them about volunteering, they mention, “All the support we get through supplies and training tips. Staff are very personable and there is no shortage of high caliber training opportunities. We feel we are part of the Can Do Canines team and staff are very appreciative of our efforts.”
In addition to raising life-changing assistance dogs, Mike and Tracy enjoy a number of other activities. “We love to travel with our teardrop camper and be off the grid,” they say. They add, “We also do a lot of outdoor activities like hiking, kayaking, gardening, fishing and hunting.”
A huge thank you to this awesome couple for all the ways they support this mission. We are so grateful for the experience and dedication you have brought to this organization and the way you show up for each dog you bring into your home. We are glad you’re part of the pack!