The affection and comfort that our canine friends can provide is overwhelming and for many life changing. I am honored and happy to have been asked to the board of Canine Companions, I am looking forward to serve and participate in its great mission.
Anne Gittinger became involved with Canine Companions because she strongly believed in the mission—a marriage of excellent dog breeding and commitment to helping people with disabilities—and saw an opportunity to further the work of the organization.
Barrie Graham was an early and fervent admirer of Canine Companions and became involved with the organization in the 1990’s while working at Exchange Bank. Although active with other non-profits providing services to people with disabilities, Canine Companions’ unique focus in teaming dogs with people with disabilities appealed to Barrie.
National and North Central Board Member Carolyn Hrach joined Canine Companions for Independence in 1993 as a puppy raiser. Since joining the organization, Carolyn has raised 12 puppies for the North Central Region of Canine Companions.
Inspired in 1989 by an article about Canine Companions in Life Magazine, Chris Kittredge immediately applied to be a puppy raiser. Shortly thereafter, her first puppy arrived and the journey to national board membership in 2007 began.
Judge Ed Kinkeade was appointed to the federal bench of the Northern District of Texas in 2002 by President George W. Bush, where he still serves today. Previously, Judge Kinkeade served as a County District and Appellate Judge in Texas from 1981 to 2002.
In 1989, National Board Member Emily Williams responded to an ad in a local newspaper to adopt a Canine Companions for Independence breeder dog. Since answering that first call, Emily has been a caretaker for 11 Canine Companions female breeder dogs and their 43 litters of puppies.
Former President and Secretary of the Board Jean Schulz became involved with Canine Companions for Independence in 1986. Her late husband, renowned cartoonist Charles Schulz, thought the dogs ‘marvelous,’ and so did Jean.
Michelle Ludwig received her first hearing service dog in 2007, Marguerite, and in 2021, received her successor dog, Pam. She and her husband John also serve on the South Central Region Board. Michelle is a physician at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX, specializing in radiation oncology.
John Miller was first introduced to Canine Companions by Jean Schulz in 1998. John became more deeply involved when Jean asked him to serve on the Northeast regional board when he moved back to New York.