Every morning, Trulette Clayes and her husband Jeff Partrick stroll the beach near their home in La Jolla, California. A chance encounter with Canine Companions volunteer, Mary Milton, and her puppy in training named Emmett would soon become a frequent high point in Trulette and Jeff’s walks. The next run in with Mary and Emmett led to Trulette learning more about the life-changing mission of Canine Companions and an opportunity for an outstanding gift.
Canine Companions is a non-profit that provides expertly trained service dogs to children, adults and veterans with disabilities, completely free of charge.
Trulette’s uncle Joe – a generous man who adored dogs – had established the Joseph Clayes III Charitable Trust, a La Jolla-based charity, to help fund organizations that worked with a variety of Joseph’s interests. Trulette was named as a trustee along with her uncle’s longtime friend and business partner, Brendan Holmes.
“My uncle had a Golden Retriever named Toby that he was madly in love with,” Trulette says fondly. “The mission of the foundation was very clear that it should support organizations serving children and dogs.” Joseph gave Trulette and Brendan the responsibility of choosing charities to support, and after her morning chats with Mary on the beach, Canine Companions was a perfect fit.
“I think my uncle would have enjoyed the Canine Companions program and mission,” states Trulette. “It’s fabulous what Canine Companions does to help people who need assistance. Meeting Mary was just the perfect place and time.”
The Joseph Clayes III Charitable Trust generously donated a $250,000 endowment gift to Canine Companions’ Southwest Region that will help support the mission for years. “We are so grateful to Trulette and Brendan for selecting us to receive this incredible gift from the Clayes Trust that will have a lasting impact on our mission,” said Southwest Region Executive Director Marcell Mallette. “This gift will help us continue to create life changing human-canine matches for years to come.”
As trustees, Trulette and Brendan chose to create an endowment specifically because of the ongoing support it will provide and the impact it will have to allow us to place expertly trained service dogs free of charge. Thanks to their endowment gift, the Southwest Region’s main training room is named in Joseph’s honor.
“I’m really honored to be part of the Canine Companions family. I keep spreading the word about the mission because it’s so wonderful. Seeing the dogs working with their trainers to learn how to help someone with a disability was amazing.”
Trulette and her husband continue to see Mary and her newest Canine Companions puppy on their daily walks, brightening their days and sharing in a cause they all love.
About Canine Companions®
Canine Companions is the largest non-profit provider of trained service dogs with six regional training centers across the country. Established in 1975, Canine Companions provides expertly trained service dogs to children, adults and veterans with disabilities and is recognized worldwide for the excellence of its dogs, and quality and longevity of the matches it makes between dogs and people. There is no charge for the dog, its training and on-going follow-up services. For more information, visit canine.org or call 1-800-572-BARK.