Helping special needs children have a better quality of life!                                              December 2011/January 2012

CAST 2012 Calendar

The 2012 Canine Angels calendars are here. They make great holiday gifts at $15 each.

To order, send email to

Thanks again to Bill and everyone at Global Pet Food Outlet for your support and donations last month! We hope that in return you will see more of our Southern California folks visiting your great stores.

Global Pet Food Outlet
Welcome to Zylie and Alfie who joined Canine Angels earlier this year.

Labradoodle Zylie is being raised by repeat puppy raiser Peggy Spencer in Montana. Zylie was donated by Barbara Gaffney from Gemstone Labradoodles.

Alfie is also a Labradoodle, donated by Bedrock Labradoodles in Tualatin, OR. Alfie is being raised by repeat puppy raiser Ev Paz in Colorado.
  Calypso Hi! My name is Calypso (or Caly for short). I am a Golden Retriever puppy. I live in CA with my puppy raisers, Jennifer and Tom, my "big brother" Gibson, and their really funny cat, Felix.

They say I was quite a surprise, coming into their lives sooner than expected. I really was a surprise for Gibson, who was an only dog for many years. I think he was a little jealous when I first arrived, but I won him over and now we play all the time and he's teaching me how to act like a big dog.

During the week, I go to work with Jennifer at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center, where every day we see and do different things. I visit with lots of dog friends, and walk around the grounds and see REALLY big animals called "horses". They seem friendly enough, but smell a little funny. We also travel to horse shows, where there is lots of excitement and activity, but I've already learned how to relax, hang out, and just watch the show!

My puppy raisers say that my education is the highest priority, so they are always teaching me something. I wear this funny jacket because I'm a "service dog in training", and it allows me to go everywhere with my humans, like the grocery store, hotels, restaurants, and the movies (that was boring - I fell asleep).

I have been on several trips. One of my favorites was to Santa Barbara, where I visited 2 classrooms and read books with the kids there. I also showed them the commands I am learning, like the "up" command in this picture.

Calypso 2
My puppy raisers seem very proud of me, and they talk to people about me all the time. I hear their friends say that the work we're doing is an "inspiration". I don't know what that means, but I do know that it makes them all teary-eyed! They call me some sort of an "angel" and say that I will be helping a special person one day when I'm all grown up.

In the meantime, I'm going to try to be good, play with my toys, and learn something new every day!
Quick Links...

Canine Angels Website

13475 N. Applegate Road
Grants Pass, OR 97527
(888) K9-ANGLS
(541) 846-6400
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Hello Canine Angels Fans,
This has been an amazing year for Canine Angels and we thank everyone who has played a part in making so much magic happen. The Class of 2011 included 7 new teams, and we welcomed the Dance litter into the world. The Class of 2012 got a jump start, with an early Team Training in November. So we end the year on a super high note, with new teams starting their journey together, a kennel full of dogs preparing to be placed in 2012, and lots of dogs with puppy raisers, potential members of the class of 2013.

The support that we get from the Canine Angels family is amazing. This was demonstrated once again as we all came together for the November Pal and Facility Dog Team Training. One board member offered to hold the training in her home, rearranging living room furniture and organizing the basement to provide comfortable places for our learning and our practicing. Others traveled from California to take pictures and provide other assistance during the training, while our local board members and supporters provided all the food and hosted the out of towners. Many, many thanks to all of you for the wonderful welcome you gave to our new teams!

The feeling is pride, the emotion is overwhelming, as I watch and listen to these parents and kids come together and work so hard. Staff, volunteers, board members, puppy raisers, families, friends, really does take teamwork to make it all possible. Thank you all for enhancing others' lives by helping making these placements possible.


Happy Holidays!




If you participate in end of the year giving, our new fee-free on-line donation service is up and running at  

Pal and Facility Dog Team Training - November 2011

With eight new families and eight trained dogs, our Pal and Facility Dog Team Training was ready to begin. From Autism to Rheumatoid Arthritis and everything in between, our challenge would be finding the perfect match for each person. Hearing each family tell why they were here and how a dog could help them set the stage and direction our class would take.


While the kids repeatedly asked, "When do we meet the dogs?", we laid the groundwork for leadership through lectures and videos. Finally we could move to dog time - yippee!! We handed each person a leash and a dog and the fun began.


Each person worked with various dogs, putting their newly acquired skills to the test over the long days of training. With patient guidance from our trainer and assistants, and persistence through frustration and trying times, everyone was doing an amazing job. After more videos, lectures and dog handling practice, it was time to announce the teams.


Evan (autism) and Vida (Golden Doodle)

T.J. (autism) and Comet (Lab-Golden Cross)

Joseph (ADHD/anxiety) and Orion (Golden Retriever) 

Tonya (rheumatoid arthritis/balance issues) and

Tundra (Poodle/Career Change) 

Maureen (special education administrator) and Taylor (Poodle)

Rebecca (stroke/head injury) and Terra (Poodle)

Natalie (brittle bones) and Galaxy (Lab-Golden Cross)

Greg (autism) and Star (Golden Retriever)


Each placement seemed to be the perfect fit. The room was full of joyful faces as the kids gave big hugs to their new dogs. The remainder of the Team Training was spent bonding and improving their handling and leadership skills, and then eight new teams headed home to Colorado, Nevada, Washington, Oregon and California.


CLICK HERE to see more photos from Team Training, and read on for reports about the exciting changes already happening for our new graduates after only a month at home with their new dogs.



Little Moments
When the new teams head for home, we know what they have been trained to do, but sometimes the best outcomes are not those that were trained. Enjoy these special stories . . .

From Evan's Mom - Vida sleeps on Evan's bed every night. Sandy suggested that Evan keep track of a bedtime for Vida. Evan has taken this part of his responsibilities and Vida and he are in bed by 10pm. He reads to her and is asleep by 11pm. This is the kid who did not fall asleep until 3 or 4am! He is a different kid. Amazing what a difference 8 hours of sleep per night can do! That's almost as much as he used to get in total Sunday-Thursday nights during the school year!

Another huge way that Vida is helping Evan is with social interaction. Despite years of therapy and reminders, he rarely greets people. It doesn't matter if he is in a room and someone walks in, or if he is the one walking in, he just doesn't generally acknowledge other people. It's been a major issue because once, albeit unintentionally, he ignores someone, the likelihood that any social interaction will develop decreases significantly. Vida is essentially a cognitive-behavioral reminder in a fluffy, loving, devoted dog body! Evan walks into a room, and people acknowledge Vida right away. Evan is forced to interact. Since he wants to practice good leadership with Vida, he interacts with the people. The same thing happens when Evan and Vida are in a room and someone walks in. Vida notices the person, and Evan is tuned in to Vida, so Evan notices the person!

From TJ's Mom - Comet is perfect for our family. Truman (TJ's brother) is so energetic, they can run each other ragged. Comet can also be completely calm and sit next to TJ while he reads his books.

TJ continues to be on "clean up" duty and there have been NO potty accidents. TJ also feeds her the majority of the time and practices her tricks. He may not be the "pack leader"; however, he is learning lots of responsibility and just yesterday reminded Truman that "she's my dog".

Comet sleeps in her crate by TJ's bed each night. I am so relieved that she doesn't whine or bark. It is so refreshing to have such a well behaved dog.

From Maureen - Taylor is wonderful! She has adjusted well to home and work routines. Taylor is the most popular staff member at Woodside High. Everyone loves her! She is so mellow and the kids can't get over how soft she is to touch. Yes Sandy, she is ABSOLUTELY the right dog for me and my work. It has been great fun introducing her to all the students and especially those with special needs. She certainly brightens everyone's day.

To share more success stories about your favorite team, send email to