The Color Litter’s First Official Blog Post

Helping Paws is proud and excited to introduce 10 future service dogs…the Cuddy x Callahan litter born November 5. Special thanks to The Captain’s Kennels/Rob and Denise Babcock family for their donation of Cuddy as the sire of these puppies. Appreciation to Judy Michurski and family for being the caretaker home for Callahan and her pups.

There are 8 males and 2 females, all in varying hues of yellow.

We choose themes for our litters, and this litter is the Color, or “C,” litter. The foster home trainers will name the pups, and all names will begin with the letter C.

Speaking of foster home trainers, we are still in need of 3 fosters for these Labs! Going-home date is December 26. Contact Jo for more info:; 952-988-9359 ext. 65.

Pics courtesy of Judy Michurski.

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Farming again!

Helping Paws graduate Ethan Meyer has been partnered with service dog Stetson since September of 2012. From the beginning, it was clear that Ethan’s goal was to increase his independence following a spinal cord injury, and Stetson was a part of Ethan’s strategy. Ethan and Stetson have worked hard toward that goal.

We are excited to present pictures of Ethan’s latest accomplishment…he is back to farming! This year’s harvest was phenomenal.

Way to go, Ethan and Stetson!

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Future Service Dogs Arriving Soon!


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More Graduation News

The Helping Paws training curriculum is divided into phases – Perfect Puppies, Awesome Adolescents, Working Wonders and Big Dogs. We recognize the completion of each phase as a graduation to the next one. Foster home trainers and dogs are commended and celebrated for the progress they are making.

Two classes recently graduated from Working Wonders to Big Dogs. These teams are now in the final portion of training. Most of the skills have been introduced. Now is the time for polishing and chaining skills together in preparation for matching with individuals w/physical disabilities or veterans with PTSD. Congrats to the foster home trainers and dogs of the Sailor x Callahan litter and the Kol x Niko litter! Pics courtesy of Renee Duncan.

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Another class has just moved from Perfect Puppies to Awesome Adolescents. The focus changes from puppy socialization experiences to working on skills in public. These dogs now train in public places like libraries and community/government centers. New skills are added as well. Props to the Thursday evening 6:30 pm class, composed of two litters: Manhattan x Keeley and Huey x Myrtle. Pics courtesy of Judy Michurski.

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What a celebration!

Blessed. Diversity. Partnerships. Joy.

These words come to mind as one browses the slide show of photos from Helping Paws Graduation last Friday. Twelve assistance dog teams were honored as the Helping Paws Class of 2014. Their pictures lined the hallway to the auditorium, welcoming attendees to the program. Best wishes to Jan and Willa, Chuck and Aida, Ahnna and Quincy, Donovan and Buffy, Will and Chuda, Melissa and Winnie, Angela and Baylor, Beth and Mika, Andrea and Tate, Vanessa and Abraham, Richard and Watson, and Lizzie and Boone.

It was exciting to see so many current graduate teams in the audience. We also appreciate the foster home trainers who brought dogs-in-training to the event, including the youngest group, the Blue Litter.

The Class of 2014 includes service dogs for individuals with physical disabilities, service dogs for veterans with PTSD, and a skilled companion dog. For five of the teams, the dogs are successor dogs. Three of the new teams are young people partnered with their first service dog.

Helping Paws could not accomplish our mission without the generous support of our financial donors, the breeders who donate sires to our program, and the foster home trainers, caretaker homes and others who volunteer their time and talents. Thank you!

Photos courtesy of Judy Michurski.

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Wait a minute!

Hey! My name is Foster, and I was in the dog exchange too! Here I am with my temporary foster home trainer Hannah. This was especially fun for me since I don’t live w/kids or dogs, and Hannah has 4 siblings plus a Lab named Rhoda!

Hannah and Foster

Hannah and Foster

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Awesome Adolescents Applaud Autumn

The Briggs x Hope dogs-in-training turned a year old on October 1, and celebrated by participating in a dog exchange. Periodically during training, the dogs spend a week with another foster home trainer. This exposes them to different environments, people and pets, and hones their skills. Service dogs need to be flexible, and these photos demonstrate that in spades!

The foster home trainers did an excellent job of discovering unique places to train, and had fun doing it! All photos are courtesy of the fosters.

Helping Paws is in need of foster home trainers! Contact Jo @ for more info!

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