Meet Our Recipients
Raynel & Bramble

Raynel & Bramble

2016 was a very special year for our family, since after five years on the waiting list, our son Raynel was able to receive his best friend, Bramble! When Bramble selected Raynel as his forever friend, our lives were so incredibly, positively changed. Raynel is a bacterial meningitis survivor, is deaf, had a brain injury, and is in a wheelchair. Since 2016, we have noticed that Raynel is verbalizing more to communicate with Bramble. Raynel has always had hard time staying in his bedroom by himself at night. But now Bramble jumps up in his bed and helps Raynel fall asleep every night. Bramble is the one in charge of waking Raynel up full of love and happiness every morning and he always brings his favorite toy to Raynel’s bed. Due to his lack of muscle strength Raynel, can’t navigate his wheelchair by himself so Bramble pulls his wheelchair to help him to move faster. Bramble goes with Raynel to every doctor appointment and therapy visit. When we go to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta for medical appointments and surgeries, Bramble is always present to comfort Raynel. Bramble is a Platinum member of Carnival cruise lines and he comes with us on vacation every year-the cruise staff love him! He makes Raynel’s life so much easier by giving him the simplest thing-love. Bramble is a member of the Granell family because he also shares his love with all of us and comforts us in our times of need. As Raynel’s parents, we are surprised how wonderfully Bramble has adapted his abilities to help Raynel, he is so patient with what Raynel needs. Bramble and Raynel are the perfect team! Our entire family is eternally grateful to Canine Assistants for considering Raynel to receive this beautiful gift, in Bramble, as a new member of our family!!!
-The Granell Family

Hailie & Eleanor

Hailie was born with only half a heart and she’s been a frequent patient at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta since she was a baby. CHOA is actually how Hailie and her family found out about Canine Assistants, through our facility dog program there. Hailie would meet our hospital facility dogs when they would visit and comfort her during her stays. It took almost three years on our waitlist before Hailie and her family came to get a service dog in June 2018. Hailie says every minute was worth the wait when she was finally matched with Eleanor. Hailie says, “before Eleanor, I felt like nothing was ever going to go right, but with Eleanor by my side, living life with a chronic illness much easier to bear.” Eleanor gives Hailie confidence to not only face each new day but also to talk to other people about congenital heart disease. Eleanor, through no teaching by Canine Assistants, is now alerting to Hailie’s oncoming seizures – she’s literally a lifesaver. Incredible things can happen when the bond between a dog and their person is so strong.  Eleanor is altering to seizures all on her own because she loves and cares about Hailie so fiercely. Dogs are truly amazing!

Hailie & Elanor
Tim & Ringer

Tim & Ringer

Meet Tim and his service dog Ringer.  Tim was diagnosed at an early age with Cerebral Palsy and was absolutely thrilled when the long wait to meet his service dog was finally over back in April 2015. Once Ringer chose him, he decided to never leave his side. Ringer is a Golden Retriever from our 12 Days of Christmas litter. Ringer is not only is a constant companion, but helps open doors, retrieves dropped items, and Ringer has even opened an entire new world for Tim. In his own words, Tim says “Ringer makes my wheelchair disappear. I have more confidence to be independent and do the things I love. I’ve made so many new friends and even had the freedom to graduate from college. Plus, Ringer attracts all the pretty ladies!”  Tim and Ringer have been on so many adventures together since 2015 and can’t wait for what life brings next!

Michelle & Mossy

Meet Michelle and Mossy! Michelle was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes over twenty years ago. She does not feel oncoming symptoms when her blood sugar is high or low, which can be extremely life threatening…but her life changed in the best possible way in April 2015 when she was matched with her Canine Assistant, Mossy! “Type 1 Diabetes affects everything – your emotions, your vision, really your entire life – Mossy is truly there for me by alerting to high and low blood sugars as well as being my constant companion.” In fact, with the Canine Assistants teaching methodology, Michelle can actually ask Mossy if her blood sugar is high or low and Mossy will touch the appropriate hand, signaling Michelle to check her blood sugar! One of the most eye-opening times for Michelle was when Mossy jumped over the seat in the car and wouldn’t let Michelle start the car. Michelle asked Mossy if her blood sugar was off and Mossy said yes. Michelle’s blood sugar was dangerously low, and she would have passed out if she had been driving. Not only did Mossy save Michelle’s life in this situation, she potentially saved the lives of other people driving that day.  Michelle always says “if you think Mossy’s ever been wrong, you’re wrong! Mossy’s nose has been a perfect blessing to my family and I!”

Michelle & Mossy
Rick and Sarah

Rick & Sarah

Rick and his service dog Sarah are a dynamic duo!  Rick was in a devastating car accident in 2004 that left him with a traumatic brain injury. Rick is a second-time recipient with Canine Assistants and Sarah is his second dog. Sarah provides Rick with much needed comfort and helps him with daily tasks.  When Rick and Sarah first met at recipient camp, “it was as if his wheelchair was invisible to Sarah.”  According to Rick’s mom, “Sarah and Rick’s friendship has evolved into companionship since they graduated back in September 2018.  She has been a constant source of hope, companionship, friendship, support, comfort, and most importantly, love.” Rick and Sarah are a relatively new pairing, but it is already so clear how much they love each other.  Sarah truly has found her perfect match in Rick.

Ceci & Vincent

Vincent has been such a blessing to Ceci and has given her a great sense of comfort, compassion, and healing that only he can give her. The bond between them is like no other; and we are eternally thankful and blessed to have been selected to become the recipients of such an amazing dog. Vincent is a Seizure Response Dog. He has learned to interact with Ceci before, during, and after an impending seizure occurs. He calms her down, sits on or next to her, and is responsive to whatever is going on with her at the time, without being given a single command to so. He has brought our family so much joy and is a happy, playful, and delightful dog that we love dearly. Vincent adores her and she feels that he is her daily lifeline. Ceci has been in Special Olympics since the third grade, and even though she’s an adult now, she has won numerous Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals. Vincent now accompanies Ceci to all her Special Olympic events.  He also goes to church with her where he is reverent, friendly, and very patient while he lays under the pew in front of her. He attends her weekly Puppet Ministry Team meetings and loves being part of the “team.” Ceci’s biggest challenge in life is her seizure disorder. People with disabilities are given service dogs to help them become more independent. One of the most important doors a service dog opens is the one that leads to acceptance in society. People tend to be afraid of what they don’t understand. However, a service dog helps bridge that gap by stimulating common interests. Everyone usually has a good dog story to share. We aren’t always dealt the perfect hand in life, so we must make the best of what we have today. Our hearts are full of appreciation and thanks to everyone at Canine Assistants (staff, volunteers, donors, & sponsors) for the work they do to make life happier for others that need that extra paw in times of need.
Ceci + Family

Ceci & Vincent
Sean and Spirit

Sean & Spirit

Hi, my name is Sean. I’m 29 years old, live in Santa Barbara, California, and I work as an environmental data scientist. I’ve been a wheelchair user since 2013, after I was a passenger in an automobile accident. I love surfing, music, art, being outdoors, and observing wildlife. In 2015, Canine Assistants paired Spirit with me, and it’s been an enlightening experience. Spirit has helped me in so many ways over the past few years. She attended every class with me during graduate school at the University of California Santa Barbara and walked next to me at my graduation in 2019. She helps me with daily tasks like picking up things I can’t grab or turning off a light I forgot to before transferring into bed. She also helps me with other things like breaking the ice in social situations, reminding me to take breaks during the workday, and providing emotional support through good days and bad. I am so thankful for Canine Assistants for providing me with this wonderful service dog and best friend. My life would not be the same without Spirit and Canine Assistants.

Betsy & Annie

My name is Betsy and I was born with Spina Bifida. I am 38 years old and live in Bennington, Vermont.  I work for Bart Adaptive Sports Center as an Administrative Assistant. Annie is my second service dog from Canine Assistants. My first dog, Margaret, was with me for over 15 years. I didn’t think any dog could be Margaret, then along came Annie. She has been a great addition to my family. Annie and I love to go out for adventures such as paddle boarding, swimming, camping, walks, and being supporters of our local semi pro football team in town. Annie has helped me in so many ways over the past years. She attends work with me every day at the ski area during the winter months and goes cycling with me during the summer. Annie’s all-time favorite thing to do on her free time is to play ball with the fetch stick. She wears us out playing ball!  She helps me with daily tasks like picking up things I can’t grab or walking along with my chair.  Annie also helps me with other things like reminding me to take breaks during the workday and providing emotional support through good days and bad. I am so thankful for Canine Assistants for providing me with this wonderful service dog and my best friend. My life would not be the same without Margaret, then Annie, and Canine Assistants.

Collin & Boston

I first met Boston when he picked me to be his new partner and lifelong friend at Canine Assistants in September 2016. I had been diagnosed with ALS two years earlier, and was thankful that I had been granted such a wonderful opportunity to be partnered with a special friend that would assist me with the many tasks I would not be able to do any longer while living with this debilitating disease. In all candidness, I was a little skeptical that Boston would learn everything I needed him to do for me, simply through a bond, and not through specific commands. I could not have been more wrong. The emphasis that Canine Assistants put on building the bond between Boston and I was truly the foundation for the inseparable relationship we share today. Within a couple weeks of bringing Boston home, he was helping me pick up items that I routinely dropped and could not pick up myself. He demonstrated such a kind heart and an outpouring of love for me overnight. What I found most amazing and inspiring about my furry friend was that there were no commands given when I needed help. Boston anticipated what I needed and took it upon himself to fulfill my needs. We had quickly built a bond that was very strong. Boston does so much for me, but he also spreads joy to any other person he encounters. He truly loves people, and anyone who meets him instantly loves him.
I have now lived with ALS for 5 ½ years, and my dear friend, Boston, has been right there with me for the last 3 ½ years. I am much less active now, as I can no longer walk and am confined to a power wheelchair. Boston follows me from room to room or out on our patio as I drive my wheelchair. He is always right by my side, or laying at my feet, ready to help make my life easier. I have limited use of my arms and hands now, so I don’t drop anything for him to pick up anymore. However, Boston now picks up the heaviest burden to me whenever I need it…he senses the bad days and picks up my spirits. That is the kind of unbreakable bond we have, and always will!

Emma & Glee

Hello! My name is Emma and in 2016, I was matched with my forever best friend, Glee. In 2014, I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. Living as a diabetic was manageable, but nothing seemed to really help me manage it the way I wanted to. When I heard about Canine Assistants, I knew that having a diabetic alert dog would make all the difference. I remember going to a school career fair and a representative from Canine Assistants was there passing out flyers. I read one and saw they had diabetic alert dog under services these dogs do. I came home begging my mom to let me put in an application. When she agreed, I was beyond excited. During camp, I met with a few dogs who were precious, but it just didn’t feel right. Then Glee came in. Glee came in and ran all around the room and grabbed my insulin pump and held it in her mouth. In that moment, I knew Glee was the one and I knew she felt the same. It has been four years since I received Glee and I can’t picture life without her. Glee has alerted my high and low blood sugars. She has even stopped me from driving due to a low blood sugar. She will even follow me around with a juice box knowing I’ll need one for a low blood sugar. Glee and I have been through so much together from graduating high school to graduating cosmetology school. Glee not only makes a difference in my life, but everyone around me as well. When my friends have a hard day, they sit by Glee and instantly their day is a million times better. Glee surely has an impact everywhere she goes. I am forever grateful to Canine Assistants for giving me best gift I could’ve ever asked for in Glee!

Sam & Kobe

Through the generosity of Canine Assistants, I have been the recipient of two amazing service dogs, Sippi and Kobe. It’s difficult to capture in words how the dogs from Canine Assistants have impacted my life. I’ve had Epilepsy for 15 years and my seizures have been difficult to control. Having Epilepsy has been a difficult journey and I have struggled to find hope at times, but having both of my service dogs has not only been a lifesaver medically, but has filled my life with so much love and joy. Sippi and Kobe have made navigating this horrible disease much easier. I miss Sippi daily, but Kobe is his own kind of amazing. While no dog can ever replace Sippi, Kobe has definitely stepped up to the challenge. He is my best friend and constant companion. Kobe alerts me and my family up to 10 minutes before a seizure occurs. This allows me time to get in a safe place, ask for help and take precaution medicine. Kobe and I share an amazing bond and I know he would do anything in his power to keep me safe. He is always the brightest part of my day!