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Northeast Times | October 21, 2021

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Colleyville Welcomes New Assistance Dog Enhancing the Life of a Local Teen

Colleyville Welcomes New Assistance Dog Enhancing the Life of a Local Teen

Four times a year, a group of people and a group of dogs come together in Irving for a very special purpose. To make a match between a Canine Companions for Independence® assistance dog and the person whose life they are about to change. This May was no different.

On May 11, Colleyville resident Hayden Rogers and his mother, Kimberly, were matched with Canine Companions® Skilled Companion Dog Zippy. Zippy, a black Labrador/ golden retriever cross, is trained in over 40 commands to assist Hayden and enhance his independence.

Hayden is a typical teenager who loves baseball, playing drums and watching movies. However, sometimes day to day life is less than typical. Hayden had a stroke in-utero and is diagnosed with right-sided cerebral palsy, amongst other disabilities. Now, he has Zippy by his side to help with daily tasks like retrieving items and opening doors, as well as providing companionship.

“It’s hard enough to be a fourteen-year-old, but to also have a disability is difficult,” says Kimberly. “Zippy makes us smile, laugh, play and have fun!”

Skilled Companion Dog Zippy, along with her fellow assistance dogs, went through two years of training before she was specially matched with Hayden free of charge. Now, she will provide enhanced independence and confidence for this Colleyville teen.