Nov 09
Canine Companions: The Unspeakable Potential of Skilled Companion Dog Partners
On this show Canine Companions for Independence (CCI) returns to Psych Up to bring us the heartwarming stories of two skilled companion dogs and the people whose lives they changed. Host Dr. Suzanne Phillips opens the show with Ashley Koehler, Development Associate for the North Central Region of Canine Companions who gives the backstory of CCI and clarifies the different services that Canine Companions can provide.

We then hear from a brave couple, Alexis and Doug Vitale. As shared by Alexis, in 2011 her husband, Marine Sergeant Doug Vitale was serving in Afghanistan when he stepped on a roadside bomb pressure plate. The explosion resulted in a double leg amputation and traumatic brain injuries that left Doug unable to speak. In moving detail, Alexis shares the incredible story of working together with their dog, “Partner” in ways that are challenging and remarkable.

The next guest is Kevin Schwartzberg, speaking on behalf of his son Cameron, an eleven-year-old boyborn with muscular dystrophy and Cameron’s companion dog, Victoria.  In a beautiful and heartfelt way, Kevin shares the path to finding Victoria, his own feelings about the needs of his son and the amazing way this sensitive and skilled companion dog bonds with Cameron to change his life. As you will experience, the potential of skilled companion dog partners is truly beyond words.

Featured Contributors

Kristi Davis is a Transpersonal Drama Therapist and Holistic Health Educator specializing in the mental, emotional, and spiritual contributors to heal...
Deb is an integrative wellness practitioner combining coaching and bodywork and one of the three founders of the Hygeia Center for the Healing Arts in...
Lourawls “Tum Tum” Nairn is a 2014 point guard and Michigan State commit from Bel Aire, Kansas.

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