In early May, Beth Schroeder will say farewell to Gable (the handsome fellow on the right). Over the course of 25-years, this brave lady has endured countless goodbyes. Beth is a puppy raiser for Canine Companions for Independence, a nonprofit organization that provides assistance dogs free of charge to individuals with disabilities.
Beth loves, raises, trains (about 35 commands worth) and cares for a dog for about two years before taking them to CCI’s headquarters for advanced training. The car ride home is understandably tear filled. If Beth’s dog passes advanced training, she returns to headquarters for his/her graduation…and hands the leash over to the recipient.
And when the day comes, Beth will do the same with Cleo, Gable’s young sidekick.
I first had the pleasure of meeting Beth and her dogs at Anytime Fitness in Portage. After that, I sat down and spoke with Beth about her work with dogs. That story that appeared in the November of 2019 issue of Encore Magazine. Beth says she owes a debt of gratitude to businesses that welcome these dogs-in-training into their establishments.
As many know, that debt of gratitude should also extend to Beth: a lady who selflessly volunteers her time, and heart, to raise and love these puppies. She even goes around the greater Kalamazoo area with her dogs to speak about CCI. To senior centers, schools, and other organizations. But to Beth, it’s all worth it when she witnesses the difference these dogs make in the lives of others.
And on March 17th, Gable and Cleo wish you a Happy St. Patrick’s Day!