Graduation day has gone to the dogs.
After two weeks of training and plenty of treats, some Connecticut service dogs are reporting for duty.
On Wednesday, Educated Canines Assisting with Disabilities, or E-CAD, celebrated graduation day for six service dogs and their clients.
It was the end of a two-week training program where everyone learns to work together and the service dogs learn the needs of their new owner.
"It just made my heart warm just seeing how we instantly clicked and she's been great,” said Joe Shortt, of Southbury.
He’s been paralyzed since he was hit by a drunk driver 15 years ago. He's now welcoming service dog "Grace" into his life, so he can remain independent.
"She's already helping me pull my shoes off, pull my sweatshirts off, braced to push me back up into my chair, she's bringing me my phone which is priceless in itself,” Shortt said.
"As soon as I found out about service dogs, I started the process of finding one for him and it's just been an amazing trip,” said Rachel Wilson of New London.
Adrian's mom, Rachel Wilson, says their dog "Bo" will make an incredible difference in her son's life.
Adrian is non-verbal but "Bo" will now be at his side.
"He's going to, for one, being able to anchor Adrian. They're attached by a strap because Adrian bolts, he'll run into traffic or he'll leave a safe place, he doesn't consider the consequences, he just acts, he's very impulsive,” Wilson said.
E-CAD’s mission is to help people with disabilities gain greater independence and mobility with the help of golden retrievers and labs.
They each know 89 commands now.
"Would've never expected to see such a transformation in everybody that's been through this training camp in such a short period of time,” Shortt said.
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