Eric — Therapy

Location: Marseilles, Illinois

I am nominating my dog Eric. Eric was originally in the service dog training program for Canine Companion for Independence. I was Eric’s puppy raiser, for the first 18 months of his life, teaching him 26 basic commands, That he would build on when he went off to service dog college. Eric was at college for approximately two months and while he was there he developed separation anxiety from me he would do his commands but hesitated because it wasn’t me asking him to do them, so He was released and returned to me. After getting him back the first few months I beat myself up wondering what I did wrong for him not to succeed but then I realized he’s the one who made the choice. I then realized he still wanted to work but he wanted me to be asking him to do the things. So in September 2014 I enrolled him with Therapy Dog International. He has over 700 visits in 5 1/2 years. He visits our local library three days a week .He has approximately 12 children that read to him to build their social and reading skills.He also visits our local hospital mental health unit every Tuesday. He has made a world of difference to everyone who meets him. Even though we will never forget what his original goal was and were he got his start as a CCI Puppy,we would not have it any other way .He’s just perfect as a Change of Career (COC) dog. This is why I feel he is a good nomination for hero dog award.