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For the Love of Dogs and Great Wine in the South

Stories of Independence

woman in a wheelchair hugging a yellow lab in blue service vest who is laying across her lap
Hilary and Data

Growing Up With Canine Companions

Hilary Pircher has had three Canine Companions service dogs by her side over the years and credits each of them with a unique purpose in her life.

Growing up with cerebral palsy, Hilary often had to rely on her parents. But like any teenager, she longed for autonomy and greater independence. She found that and more with her first service dog, Hudson.

“Hudson was a huge source of security for me for 10 years,” she shares. Matched at age 16, he allowed Hilary to live independently in four different cities, go to college and begin a professional career – all things that she and her parents had dreamed about.

She was then matched with Service Dog Geiler, who Hilary credits as the “fun and silly” one. Geiler pushed Hilary to be more active and outgoing, allowing her to connect with the world around her in a new way.

Now, her most affectionate service dog, Data, is by her side each day, working and living in Houston, Texas, assisting with life-changing daily tasks.

Service Dog Data carries items in his mouth so Hilary can propel her wheelchair, tugs open doors and retrieves any item that is dropped or out of reach, all with a wagging tail.

“My service dogs have helped me realize who I am as a person. Hudson made me brave. Geiler made me fun. And Data made me affectionate,” says Hilary. “They allowed me to chase my dreams.”

For more inspiration, please visit Our Stories page.

Impact of Independence

Canine Companions is the most highly acclaimed and accredited service dog organization in the United States.

Our unique and proven team training sets us apart by ensuring the match between dog and human is powerful and lasting.

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teams placed throughout the United States since 1975
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the number of interactions our dogs have in the community each year
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of service dog placements are successful
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of veterans report that quality of life has improved
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of facility dog handlers report increased client engagement and willingness to participate in therapies

2021 South Central Training Center Highlights

puppy and service dog seating on grass

Here are some of our proudest accomplishments at the Baylor Scott & White Health – Kinkeade Training Center in Irving, TX serving 4 states.

For more information about Canine Companions, please visit our home page or contact us.

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