Burma's owner, Lori, asked me a few months ago to come and shoot some photos before Burma would be placed into service training. It was such a great shoot, so easy and chill, I really enjoyed it. I was incredibly interested in the Burma and her program, it is great there are organizations and people that are so willing to take their time and effort into training these amazing animals to help those who will benefit from it. Lori kindly wrote up a some info for me to share with you all. Enjoy!
"Meet Burma, she is a CCI Service Dog in Training. Canine Companions for Independence (CCI) is a non-profit organization that has placed over 3,000 dogs since 1975, free of charge.
I was introduced to CCI by two extraordinary puppies at last year’s CFC kick-off. I’m still amazed every day by Burma, a carefully crossbred Lab that is sweet and smart; she picks up new commands almost immediately. Upon approval, my husband and I received her at 8-weeks old with a scheduled turn-in of May 2011. Before turn-in, she’ll learn 26 commands and be socialized to a variety of venues so she’s calm and obedient in any situation. We’re responsible for her health and safety, provide food and vet care, and report our progress monthly to CCI.
At turn-in she’ll be evaluated and trained for one of four team categories; Hearing, Service, Facility or Skilled Companion. If she is ever released from the program, we get first dibs on her.
When people hear about turn-in they always ask: How can you bear to give her up? The other question is: What’s that blue thing around her nose? The blue gentle leader is part of her uniform. When I put on her cape and headgear, she knows it’s time to go to work. If you meet a dog dressed like this please ask before petting. At night when I take Burma’s uniform off, she’s just a dog. She plays and wrestles with my 95-pound Golden, loves being outside and is really enjoying the snow.
CCI’s website and YouTube have wonderful videos of dogs successfully placed with a companion. When I see the joy and freedom on their faces, the question isn’t “How can I bear to give her up?” but instead “How can I not?”
For more information go to www.CCI.org or call 1-800-572-BARK."
Update: Burma was honorably released from the program last month due to some anxiety she exhibited in crowds. She returned to Utah to live with Lori and her family, they are excited to have her back. They have since received a new puppy that will once again be trained and turned in to CCI in hopes to be placed as a working service dog.