A New Winter Solution: Wheelchair Canine Companions

Snow is always exciting in the Midwest around Christmas time, but other than that, it can be quite the hassle to deal with for majority of the year.

Am I right?

Even if you aren’t a wheelchair user, snow can be difficult to get around. Whether you’re strolling through icy sidewalks or driving your handicap vans in Chicago or other midwestern destinations, it’s hard to deal with.

Now through Canine Companions for Independence, additional help is now available. Canine Companions for Independence is a non-profit organization that offers highly trained service dogs.

How it Works

Canine Companions for Independence uses advanced technology for their breeding program to ensure high excellence for their dogs.

As puppies, they go through socialization and obedience training with volunteer puppy raisers across the country. Through the training, they learn over 40 specialized commands. There are 4 types of assistance dogs, which include Service Dogs, Skilled Companions, Hearing Dogs and Facility Dogs.

Canine Companions for Independence wants the best dog for each person, so people are paired with dogs in order to best increase independence and provide a loving companionship.

Service dogs do much more than simply pulling manual wheelchairs. Commands include opening and closing doors, turning light switches on and off, opening and closing drawers, picking up dropped items, reaching items that are out-of-reach and more.

In order to handle the dogs, they wear special vests for the handler to hold onto.

Resist Winter Obstacles with Canine Companions

So back to the issue of snow… How exactly do these canines help with the winter obstacles as a wheelchair user?

Even if you’re not a wheelchair user, you still have to watch out for slick ice, slush, and snow drifts or your might biff it when least expected. Conditions like these make it even more dangerous for wheelchair users to get around without wheels slipping or getting stuck.

With canine companions, people have seen a big improvement in dealing with the snow. Though wheelchair snow tires might help, a canine companion further assists in maneuvering, navigating and pulling through the snow.

Are you interested in having a canine companion? Contact Canine Companions for Independence today!

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