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  April 2013 Volume 13 Issue 4  


Meet Charlotte and Captain, our newest puppies in training! They come from a long line of Assistance Dogs and have already started their careers at just eight weeks old. The day after the Boston Marathon bombing, these puppies brought smiles to hundreds of people as they traveled across the country from Charlotte, NC to Seattle, WA. The same day they were traveling, several of their relatives were on their way to work as Therapy Dogs to help the victims of the bombing in Boston.

Click above to see the puppies at six weeks old.


Congratulations to Brian Kajiyama, an HCI graduate, who recently spoke to the SMU football team and at Trinity Church in Dallas. Brian, who has limited mobility due to cerebral palsy, has such a great attitude and he and Zeus are an inspiration to all. Brian recently posted, "Having Zeus from the great people of Hawaii Canines for Independence is such a blessing. Complete strangers are more open to coming up to say hi, just because they see a handsome dog. The whole image of disability fades away, as people actually want to learn more about me and Zeus! It's a really neat thing just to connect with people who I really wouldn't connect with were it not for Zeus! I am truly blessed."

"When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, "look for the helpers." You will always find people who are helping." Mister Rogers


We are happy to announce that we are changing our name from "Hawaii Canines for Independence" to "Assistance Dogs of Hawaii." Don't worry though, everything else you love about our program will remain the same! Our new name better reflects the significant growth of our program and expansion of our services. Back in 2000, our original mission was to train Service Dogs to help people with limited mobility become more independent. While this still remains our primary focus, our program has expanded to provide many more types of Assistance Dogs, including Hospital Facility Dogs, Courthouse Dogs, Social Therapy Dogs and Seizure Response Dogs. "Assistance Dogs" is the industry term that describes all types of dogs that help people in need.

Please join us for a fun filled evening in support of HCI!


Our program's origins go back over 20 years with our first Therapy Dog, a yellow Labrador named "Sadie," making a visit to Hale Makua nursing home in Kahului. Today, our Therapy Dog Program has expanded to facilities across the state, but our teams still make regular visits and share their aloha with the patients at Hale Makua. The patients always look forward to seeing the special dogs and wonderful volunteers that participate in this program.

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