Meet Our Dogs

Meet Adam and Service Dog in Training Vonnie. Adam is 9. He is non verbal. He has severe autism and a moderate intellectual disability. Vonnie is adams assistance puppy in training. She is almost 8 months old. Vonnie came from my canine companion and into our lives in december when she was only 6 weeks old and has become such a major part of our family. Adam used to be afraid of dogs but he has now formed a beautiful bond with vonnie. When we are outdoors vonnie wont even take her eyes off adam for a second. Adam cant talk but is now starting to use sign language to ask me can we take Vonnie for a walk. Its unbelievable how much Vonnie is making a difference to adam already and she is not even fully qualified yet. Adam has no sense of danger so when vonnie is fully qualified it will give adam some independence. I will no longer have to try get Adam into a buggy anymore as vonnie will guide him from danger when she is attached to him. Most importantly vonnie is helping us to become a family again :) we can start to go on family outings together. She is amazing :)

Hey there, my name is Toby and I am an Assistance dog for Luke who is six years old and has Autism. I am one of the first dogs to graduate as an Assistance Dog from the pilot My Canine Companions puppy training programme. I began his training with my family at around four months old. When I started training they gave me a cool “Puppy in training” jacket and I got to attend group puppy training classes with parents and other families and their pups. When I was 14 months old I was sent to Cork for my full assistance dog training. It was hard being away from my family and especially Luke but I knew that very soon I would be a fully trained Assistance Dog and would never have to leave Luke again. Luke is my best friend ever. From the moment I met Luke I knew we would be buddies. We go everywhere together and Mum says that I have a very calming affect on Luke when he becomes anxious. She also says that his speech has come on brilliantly since I came along. It is so wonderful being an Assistance dog and knowing that I make a difference to Luke and I help Mum and Dad as well. When I graduated as an Assistance Dog Mum wrote a blog for the My Canine Companion blog site. Just follow the link below. http://mycaninecompanion.blogspot.ie/2012/10/when-hope-and-spontaneity-collide.html Later guys Toby

Hi my name is Eliza McCann and I live in Delgany, County Wicklow. I was born in June 2010 and I am a fully trained Assistance Dog. I am a cross between a Retriever and a Bernese  mountain dog. I have a beautiful shiny long coat and a magnificent tail that everyone admires. My Mun and Dad are really nice and I have a sister Elaine and a brother Scott. I am also very lucky to live with another dog named Bobby. Me and Bobby are great friends and I love going for free runs with him and play fighting. Everyone says I am very gentle and it took me a while to get used to living in my new home because I missed Cork very much. Delgany is very much my home now and I love been an Assistance Dog to my best friend ever, Scott. I bring Scott out and about every day. He holds the handle on my special green jacket and Mum or Dad tells me where to go. I mainly help Mum with Scott in the shops. I stop Scott from running away on Mum and I keep him calm when he hears loud noises or is in a crowded place. Scott’s hearing is very sensitive and loud noises hurt his ears. I have sensitive hearing also so I know what Scott goes through. In-fact, Mum says that Scott and I are very alike!!! Weird but true! I go on lots of walks with Scott which we both enjoy. Recently we went to Church together and we really enjoyed the lovely music and singing. The carpet was nice and soft for me to lie down on. After Church I heard Mum say that Scott had not been to Church in over two years! Mum was very pleased with me that day and I got extra long rubs and a nice treat. I love it when Dad takes me and Bobby to the sea where we get to run and play with all the other dogs. Even when I am not wearing my green jacket I still get lots of attention. I love when Elaine lies on the floor and gives me and Bobby belly rubs. She is also very good at practising my tricks with me and gives me treats when I get them right. She and Bobby are best friends but I know she loves me too. My Mum always tells me she loves me and calls me her “baby” but I’m a dog!! Again, weird but true :) Eliza

Hi my name is Ralph and I am nearly 2 year old Goldendoodle. My mum is a golden retriever and my dad is a standard poodle. I am a fully trained Assistance dog for my best buddy Mikey.  My brother Alfie is also a fully trained Assistance Dog. I live in Saggart Co Dublin with my family, Mum Eleanor, Dad Mick and my special friend Mikey who is 5 and baby Darragh who will be one year old in February. I have been living with my family since I was 8 weeks old and we have great fun. I have grown up so much in that time and learnt a lot. I have been on lots of exciting adventures visiting shops restaurants on the Luas on holidays and lots more and also I have helped out with fundraising which I love! During the summer I went toCork for my final assistance dog training. It was really hard but I passed and graduated with honours. Mum and Dad came down for the last couple of days to do their training as well. It was great to see them. I missed Mikey so much and could not wait to see him again. He gave me such a big hug that I just knew he missed me too. I will update you on my adventures so be sure to come back and have a read. Later Ralph Doodle

Hi my name is Alfie and I am a Golden Doodle. I was born on the 28th of May 2011. I am a fully trained assistance dog with My Canine Companion. My brother Ralph is also a fully trained assistance dog. I live with my family in a small village in County Laois. My family consists of Mum Eleanor, sister Ellie and brothers Christopher and Owen. Owen is my best friend. Also living in the house is an older dog Bonnie who is great fun to play with. Mum takes us both on long walks in the woods and gives us yummy treats if we are good. I have a very important job to do each day; I help Mum to keep Owen safe. This is a very important job and it is the reason that I was trained as an assistance dog. When I am out with Owen and Mum I wear a special green jacket that lets everyone know that I am a working dog. Owen is attached to my jacket so that he won’t run off on Mum while we are out. I go everywhere with Owen and Mum. I go to the movies, the shops, and to Owens favorite place in the whole world, Mcdonalds. I also walk with Mum and Owen to school every day. All his school friends know who I am but they know not to talk to me while I am wearing my green jacket. When I am not wearing my green jacket I get lots of hugs and lots of attention. It is so good knowing that I make such a difference to Owen and his family. I really enjoy being an assistance dog. Alfie

Hi my name is brandy and I have just qualified as an Assistance dog with My Canine Companion. I am just settling into my new home and as soon as I can I will let you know how I am getting on. Brandy x

Hi all, my name is Shannon and I am a fully trained assistance dog with My Canine Companion. I live with my family in County Meath. Mum Clare is so great and my best friend in the world is Thomas. Life is busy for me and Mum as we look after Thomas. Before I came Thomas did not get out very much but all that is changing and we always seem to be in the car heading off on another adventure. When we are out Thomas holds the handle on my green coat. We call it the “Thomas Handle” and Mum Clare gives me instructions. We have visited the Hill of Tara, the woods in Balrath and we have even gone into Dublin on the train and took a ride on the Luas :) Thomas has gained a lot of confidence since I arrived. He is even talking more and laughing a lot. It makes me happy when I hear him laugh because I know I am changing his life and making him happy. Must run, duty calls. Shannon

Hi everyone, My name is Cookie and I am an assistance dog with My Canine Companion. I am a beautiful Goldendoodle. My dad is a standard Poodle and my Mum is a Golden Retriever. I am told that I am very handsome and everyone who meets me falls in love with my soft coat and good looks :) I came to live with my family here in Tallaght, County Dublin in 2011. This is a full house with Mum and Dad and my brother Saeed and my sister Karima. It was Karima that gave me the name Cookie. She loves to touch my nose and my furry coat :) Mum says that Karima took a shine to me straight away and has calmed down a lot since I arrived.  Saeed is very kind to me also, and he is always playing with me and showing me new tricks. He also gives me treats when I am good. I love going out in the car with the rest of the family. Because I am an assistance dog I get to go places that other dogs would not. I love looking out the window of the car and trying to guess where we are going. Sometimes we go to the cinema or McDonalds and other times we go shopping which is cool because I get to meet lots of people who always stop Mum to ask her about me and the work I do. My main job is to help Mum look after Karima when we are out. Karima is attached to my green jacket and holds onto the handle while I walk with her through crowds or in places where there is lots of noise. Before I came along she would never go out but now she walks along with me and it makes Mum so happy. I love being an assistance dog its so great to be able to help Mum and Dad but most especially Karima. Cookie

Hi, my name is Rosie and I am a 2 year old Golden Retriever and a fully trained assistance dog to my best friend Katelynn. Katelynn has Autism and can find some things quite scary especially if there are lots of people and noises around, so that’s where I help! In August 2012 I went to stay in Cork for a few months so I could be trained to be really smart and help Katelynn. At first I was sad because I really missed her, but I had so much fun with my trainer Linda and my best doggy friend Toby who helps a boy called Luke! I was really happy when I went back home to Celbridge because Katelynn was so happy to see me, and now she gives me lots of hugs and kisses which she didn’t really do before. I think she must have missed me a lot! Now that I’m home again, Katelynn and I go for lots of walks and she holds on to me so I can keep her safe. My mum says Katelynn’s first word was “Rosie” (although she says it like “Wosie”) and that she didn’t talk until they got me, now she talks all the time! Anyway, I must go and have a quick snooze, I’m a very busy dog you know! Lots of wuff Rosie (aka Wosie)

Hi my name is Oscar, I’m a 2 year old Labradoodle which is a cross between a Labrador and a poodle.  Most people know me as Oscar doodle and sometimes the little people I live with just shout Doodle!!!  I am a fully trained Assistance dog and live in Wicklow with Oisin, Sinead, Cian And Robert….  That spells OSCAR!!!   My brother Norman Doodle is also a fully trained Assistance Dog.

  I moved to Wicklow when I was 16 weeks old.   My mum Sinead took part in the puppy scheme and helped socialize and train me.  She attended puppy training classes and we trained in the evenings with Eliza, that’s my friend who’s also an assistance dog.  Then when I was 15 months old, I went to Bootcamp in Cork for 5 months!!  That’s where they train us to become assistance dogs, it was quite tough but I passed and graduated with honors and a very special Jacket.  It’s my pride and joy, I love wearing it!  When I wear my jacket we can go everywhere – planes, trains and automobiles!!!  And restaurants, cinemas theatres and museums…  Thankfully I love my job and going out with the family is great !  They even brought me to Spain and people called Senor Oscar!!! We flew with Aerlingus and the staff were great, they helped me and mum and asked if I was ok during the flight. Spain was great we walked along the beach every evening and went out for dinner.  Lots of people asked what type of dog I was and was I a guide Dog (Perro Guia).  Mum explained that I wasn’t a guide dog, but an assistance dog.  Our jackets look alike, but we have different jobs. Wicklow is a great spot for a dog, we live beside a beach and near the mountains…  I love free running and especially hiking with my family!  Running up and down the hills, jumping in muddy puddles!! I best go and check on the boys but check back soon and I’ll update you with my latest adventure. Later Oscar xx

Profile to follow!

Profile to follow!

Hi my name is Cooper and I am an 8 month old Labradoodle puppy training to be an Assistance Dog with My Canine Companion.  When I am fully qualified I will be able to help Mum and Dad to keep my best friend Joe safe. I was born in County Wexford and I came to live with my family in Dublin when I was 8 weeks old. I live in a very busy house with Mum and Dad and my brothers and sisters, John, Grainne, Aoife, James and Grace (aka Dolly D). I must not forget my step Granny, Millie. She is a 16 year old Collie/German Shepherd. We get on really well but sometimes she gets cross with me when I am naughty. Sometimes I get so excited that I jump all over her and it drives her mad! My BFF is Joe. He is 10 years old and we have such great fun together. We love going for long walks especially on the beach and we like to hang together and chillax . Everyone stops to say hi to us and I am very popular. I am really looking forward to meeting the other pups on the puppy training programme especially my brothers Chief and Captain Colin. They are also training to become Assistance Dogs when they grow up. I suppose you could say it’s kinda like a family business :) Bye for now. Cooper

Hi my name is Breff and I am a 12 month old Labradoodle. I was born in October 2011 and I am currently training to be an Assistance dog with My Canine Companion. My brother Boots is also training to become an Assistance dog. I live in a lovely seaside town called Cobh, in CountyCork. I live with the Murphy family; Mum Brenda, Sister Katie and Brother Harry. Harry is my special friend. We go everywhere together and have great adventures. I walk to school with Mum and Harry every morning and evening. Harry really likes it when I lick his face and laughs really loud. I love to hear Harry Laugh. Sometimes Mum takes us for long walks along the sea front and we can se the big boats and cruise liners that are in the harbour. Harry loves boats of all sizes. Sometime we go to visit my Cousin Miley who is a Wheaten Terrier. Miley is a little bit daft and very Funny. I love to run around the garden playing with him. I like to be in the car with Harry because it makes him feel really relaxed and happy when we travel together. I like to go to Planet near Blackpool because I can sit with Mum and watch all the boys and girls playing and having fun. My sister Katie is 17 and really cool. She takes me out to meet all her friends and also takes me on lots of nice long walks to different places. She gives me lots of nice long hugs and she really knows how to brush my hair just the way I like it. I live near my friend Bella who is a golden mountain dog. I love it when we go to visit Bella and her mum Bridget because we always go to fun and exciting places together. When I am older I will be a fully trained Autism Assistance dog and I will be able to help Mum and Katie to look after Harry and keep him safe. I really love my family and I know that they love me too. Breff

Hi I am Chief an 8 month old Labradoodle pup.  When I grow up I will be trained as an Assistant Dog and best friend for George. I live in southTipperarywith my forever family. Mum and Dad, Alice, George, William, Peter and Rebecca.  I love to play ball in the Garden with my family and I really love the seaside. I also have a Canine pal; Tim the greyhound. My best friend George loves to show me off when we go to town.  I get to go to lots of exciting places like McDonalds and playgrounds. George also loves to play fetch with me and give me treats. Mum and Dad says I will help keep George calm and safe when I am grown up. My brothers Cooper and Captain Colin are also training to be Assistant Dogs. It will be very exciting when we go training together. Chief x

My name is Charlie, I live in Blessington, Co Wicklow with my two brothers Connor 14 and Max 7 and Mum Kerry. I came to live with my new family in April and Mum says our family has not been the same since. I am only 10 months but already I have learned a lot from Mum. When I grow up I will become an Assistance Dog for Max. I love going up the woods for free run with Max. We live right next to the woods so we get to go there a lot. Sometimes me and Max just sit for a while and chat. Max loves to talk. Next year as part of my training I will go down to the training centre in Cork for one on one training with the MCC trainers. I am excited about that because I have been told that I will get a cool new green jacket. But for now I am enjoying being a pup. Once a month we go to the cinema which is great. Mum says I am loving, caring and cheeky chappy just like the two men in her life and would not change me for the world! I hope you have enjoyed reading my blog I will add more soon. Stay Cool Charlie

I must apologise I have been a bit quiet of late; I have just been so so busy with all the exciting adventures that I have been on.  I am a 14 months old and training to be an Assistance dog with My Canine Companion. My brother Bobby is on the assistance dog programme.  I’m a big boy now and wow what a year I have had with my family, since I arrived here back in November 2011. In saying all this the weather still has not changed much since I first arrived, rain, rain and more rain, but in the last day or so I have noticed a strange large yellow object in the sky, oh yes that is right it is the SUN….it did seem a little strange at the start but I am beginning to recognise it now. I first thought it might have been a space ship coming to collect me, thankfully not though as my job here is not done, it is only beginning. With visits to Lighthouses, beaches, mountains, nature parks, shops where will this all end? I love being on adventures and I have no doubt that there are a lot more to come. My favourite place though is the beach where I can run freely through the water as it teases me coming in and out. I can watch others go for a dip on all these beautiful beaches that I have visited, spoilt for choice I am! What more can a dog ask for? I love to watch TV and I especially love James Bond moves. James and I have something in common; we both have missions that we must complete. My mission is to ensure that my best friend Paul is taken care of and to ensure his safety when he is out and about with his family. Just call me Paws…..Benji Paws :) My life can not get much better than it is right now or can it? I am loved by my family and not just the humans.  Toby is my step-brother and there are two gold-fish my family as well. The two goldfish are really boring and just keep swimming doing nothing. How boring must it be to be a gold-fish? They don’t have an exciting life like I do, but I fill them in everyday on all my adventures when everyone else is gone to bed! Oh I must not forget Marney. She is a beautiful Labrador that lives with Nanny and Granddad in New Ross. We have play dates a few times a week and I just love it. Looking forward to filling you in on my next big adventure. Special agent Benji signing off :)

Hi my name is Coco and I am a black Labrador born on the 1st of May 2011. My first owner Sheila was very kind and donated me and my brother to My Canine Companion so we could both become assistance dogs and make a big difference to a child living with Autism. I moved to my forever home in July 2011. My Mum Lisa and Dad Ian are really cool and there are three lively little men here also. They are Liam, Owen and Ryan. Ryan is the baby in the house. Owen is my best friend ever and I am training to become his assistance dog. I love to go to the park for walks. When we are there I get to have a free run and also play catch with Owen. I really love to sit and watch Owen and Liam play. Most of the time Dad Ian brings me out on my walks. I have a very close bond with him. He brings me to lots of different, new and exciting places.  I am becoming quite a celebrity in our area and Dad is always been asked questions about me and the work I will do once I am fully trained. At the moment I am just a pup in training but very soon I will be fully trained and it will be my job to keep Owen safe when we are out and about. Check back soon and see how I am getting on. Coco

Hi my name is Delta and I am a fully trained Companion dog. I came to live with my family here in Greystones County Wicklow in August 2011. I quickly become part of the family and very soon they had to change the back garden because I loved to eat the pebbles. Noah is my best friend. Noah finds it hard to make friends because he has Asperger’s Syndrome. We became friends really quickly and we do lots of cool stuff together. We play a lot in the garden or sometimes we go to the lake together when we are in the park. We have lots of adventures. Mum says we are like Laurel and Hardy because we go everywhere together and have such a fab time. I wish I knew who this Laurel and Hardy are because they sound cool. I also have a great time with Noah’s brother Josh. He is great fun to be with and likes to play with me a lot.  Before I came Noah did not really play with  Josh a lot but that’s all changing now because they have me to play with. I am really lucky to have such fab friends to play with. Mum likes to bring me out a lot and we go to loads of events together where we meet other Assistance and Companion dogs. I like it when we go to these events because I get lots of attention and I help raise lot of money for My Canine Companion. Delta

Hi my name is Darcy, I am a puppy in training with My Canine Companion. I live with my new family in Dublin and when I am fully trained I will be an Assistance Dog to my best pal Joseph, who has Aspergers. Joseph is five years old and has a little sister and a little brother who love to hug and kiss me. Joseph’s little brother is just two years old and he loves to climb on me but I don’t mind as it makes Joseph laugh. I love to jump and Mum said I could power a small town with the amount of energy I have! I love my training days as I get to see some of my brothers and sister who are also training to be assistance dogs with My Canine Copanion. I love to learn and Mum Niamh says I am very smart. Joseph and I go to lots of fun places and I can’t wait to be fully trained as mum says we might go on an airplane. It takes a lot of time and hard work for us puppies to be fully trained so please support My Canine Companion and help us puppies to be best Assistance Dogs we can. Come back soon and see how I am getting on :) Darcy

Hi, my name is Dora. I am a six month old labradoddle. I was born in August 2012 in Cork. Even before I was born an exciting life was in store for me, planned out by a charity called ‘My Canine Companion’. I was to be an assistance dog for a child with Autism along with my other eight brothers and sisters. In November 2012 I finally met my new family. They live in Wicklow – Mum is called Mary and my two buddies are called Jack and Rachael both of whom have Autism. They are great and I love it here. They are full of life and like having lots of adventures just like me. I get to do lots of things with my new family. We go on lots of adventures together like going on long walks and runs on the beach. I have visited lots of different places like shops, café’s and restaurants. Sometimes we even go to the dentist, doctors and opticians. My buddies don’t seem to like it much but I stay by their side and let them know it will be ok. I bring the kids to school everyday and Mum keeps me busy until its time to collect them. She is teaching me lots of different things and I even get treats when I do them well. It’s a great life as I am a really quick learner and I like to please her. I think I will make a really good assistance dog and I am looking forward to doing my full training. Then I can really impress my Mum. She will be so proud of me even though she already is. I can’t wait until I can help her out more with my two buddies as she could do with the help sometimes! I have to thanks My Canine Companion for bringing me and my family together. They do fantastic work and need all our support. Please log in again soon and see how I am getting on. Dora xxx

Hi my name is Duke I was born on the 1st of August 2012. I am currently a puppy in training with My Canine Companion. When I grow up I will be an Assistance dog for Eoghan aged 5, who has Aspergers Syndrome. All of my brothers and sisters are training to be assistance dogs too with My Canine Companion.  We are known as the D litter because all our names begin with the letter D! I live in Youghal Co. Cork with my family, Mum Frances, Dad Billy and kids Eoghan, Cara and Conor. I love my new home and I love learning new things but my favorite thing is free running in the fields, it is so exciting and the kids love running with me. They can never catch up with me because I am too fast so I end up running around in circles. It’s exhausting but makes me so happy. I love getting treats for doing tricks and playing hide and seek with the kids. Mum and Dad say that I am a really clever dog and will make a great assistance dog. I am doing lots of practice going around the shops and am a bit of a celebrity in the local Super Valu! We have a cat called Maisie, who wasn’t best pleased at my arrival, I love to play with her but she isn’t quite so keen on me yet! I will keep trying though and hopefully my puppy eyes will make her love me too!! They work on everyone else :) I love going to my training classes where I meet my brother Dempsey and we have great fun free running together. I have been on a few fundraisers already, which I just love. I love meeting people and having them rub me, but Dad and the kids keep saying that I cant be petted when I have my working jacket on. That’s hard because everyone thinks I am soo cute :) When I am fully trained I will help Mum and Dad keep Eoghan safe. I will be his best friend and will always be by his side, giving him security and confidence. Check back again soon to see how I’m doing Duke

Hi there my name is Elmo. I am a six and half month old Assistance Puppy. I am currently a puppy in training with My Canine Companion. When I grow up I will be an assistance dog. All of my brothers and sisters are training to be assistance dogs with My Canine Companion. We are the “E” litter because all our names start with the letter E. I think my name is the cutest, people always smile when they hear my name :) In october 2012 I met my new familly, I now live in Mornington County Meath. My Mum is called Pamela, my Dad is called Stewart and my two pals are called Rhianna and Luke. When I am fully trained I will be an assistance dog for Luke who has Dyspraxia and Epilepsy. I love it here there is always something going on. We have great adventures at the beach where we all run into the water even in the rain, it is one of my favourite places. I also go for long walks and runs without my lead in the field beside us then back home for my busy busy (wee wee), as I am not allowed to go in the street as part of my training. I go for training days where I get to meet some of my brother and sisters and some of the qualifed big dogs. Sometimes attend awareness and fundraising days at shopping centres. I am the first puppy in training in this area from My Canine Companion, so people stop us a lot to ask questions about my jacket but I am not allowed to stop and chat with my jacket on because I’m working. I am a Labradoodle but I am not curly like my siblings. I love to learn and people say I am very clever :)  I can’t wait to become a fully trained Assistance dog. Please come back soon to see how I’m getting on. Bye Bye for now. Elmo

My name is Ernie and I am an Assistance Puppy in training with My Canine Companion.  I am a black labradoodle, one of the “E” litter. I have brothers and sisters who live in different parts of Ireland with other My Canine Companion families. Sometimes I get to meet them at puppy training class or at a fundraising event. I was born in August 2012 and in November 2012 I came to live with my family in Co Kildare.  It’s a busy house with three kids but I love it as I get loads of attention and loads of time to play in the back garden.  I go for walks too and I have two dog friends but they are outside dogs and I think sometimes they are a little jealous of me as I get to sleep indoors and spend time with my family. I attend training days where the trainers from My Canine Companion help me develop and learn new things.  In 2014 I will go down to Cork for a few months to get fully trained to become an Assistance Dog for Ciaran who has autism spectrum disorder.  My job will be very important, as I will be helping to keep Ciaran safe and calm. Bye for now but stop by this page again to see how I am getting on. Ernie

Hi all, My name is Davey and I’m a 9 month old Labradoodle! I was born in August 2012 as one of the ‘D’ litter. I was born into this world for a very special reason, to be an assistance dog to children living with Autism. The day I reached Greystones in Co. Wicklow in October 2012 was pretty awesome. I might have left all my brothers and sisters and all the madness but as I entered the O’Toole house I knew this would be my forever home. Here at home I have mom Eileen, Dad Mick and four very special buddies Dylan, Adam, Eric and EJ. We do everything together. The only time the boys are not happy with me is when I let out a bit of wind when we are in the car!   Little do they know I do it so Mom will open the window wider and I get to hang my head out! But shhhh don’t tell anyone. My special job started when I first came to live here. All my buddies here have ASD, and my job is to sit with them when they are upset or help calm them down when things get a little too much for them. When I’m fully trained I will become an extra set of hands for Mom and Dad when we are out with the buddies. My favourite time of the day is when dinner is done and all my buddies get in there jammies and we sit to watch TV together, that is like so cool. Oh and I love bath time as well. That’s all about me for now. I’m off to watch TV with my buddies. Daveydoodle

Hi, my name is Potter.  I am a Golden Retriever puppy in training to become an Autism Assistance Dog.  I was born on October 4, 2013.  My brother, Pete, and sisters, Polly and Poppy, are Puppies in Training too. I was born in Cork but came to live in Cavan at the age of 10 weeks – I’ve lost my Cork accent at this stage.  I met my new best buddy, Thomas, 10 days before Christmas.  Mam and Dad wrapped a big cardboard box in Christmas paper with a big red bow and hid me inside for Thomas to find beneath the Christmas tree.  He was very excited and it was love at first sight for both of us. Thomas has three brothers, Patrick, James and Rory so I have lots of boys to play with.  I also have some doggy sisters here – Ruby, a black Labrador, and Zoe, a German Shepherd.  There are also two cats (strange creatures) – Garfield & Felix, and four hens.  It’s a bit of a madhouse alright but that’s good because I’m getting exposed to a lot of different things and it all helps with my socialisation. I go to all of Thomas’s activities & all of his outings with him and am very well behaved.  I just sit and wait until it’s time to move on.  I’m there as reassurance and Thomas loves giving me cuddles every now and again.  I’ve been to his swimming lessons, karate, clinic appointments, arts & crafts, dentist, cinema, Armagh Planetarium & lots of restaurants and shops.  Thomas is making his First Holy Communion this year so I go to mass with him too.  Before I came to live with him, Thomas hated going into shops and got very upset when he had to but now he manages a lot better.  I even helped him pick his shoes for his Communion last weekend. He has a lot of sensory issues with his feet so socks and shoes are a big deal.  Usually, picking shoes was a nightmare for him but this time it went great. I am very much loved and get constant hugs and kisses from all the family.  Thomas says I’m the best assistance dog in the whole wide world and that I have changed his life.  Not bad praise for a wee thing like me. I lie in front of the fire in the evening and Thomas lies beside me, hugging me and telling me about his day.  He usually finds it hard to talk to people but he tells me all of his secrets and knows they’re safe with me. I love to swim and Thomas brings me to the lake a lot where I have so much fun.  Next year I have to go back to Cork for 12 weeks of intensive training and then I’ll be a fully qualified assistance dog.  I know I’ll miss Thomas and the rest of the family a lot but it will be worth it because I’ll come back so well trained and mature. Come back soon and see what new adventures I’ve been on.

Assistance Dog Queta. Hey there everyone… My name is Queta Doodle Webb. I am a fully qualified Assistance Dog with My Canine Companion, and I absolutely love & take huge pride in my job… I am an adorable, as I’ve been told, Silver Frosted Labradoodle…   I live with a lovely little boy (Tom) who is my very best buddy in the whole world…. Mum, Dad & big brothers Dan & Eoin. I have to say that he is my whole world as I know I definitely am his… I go everywhere with Mum & Tom as I have a very important job to do in helping Mum to keep Tom safe, secure & calm… When I am working I wear a special Green jacket which lets everyone know that I am in work mode… Tom holds a special handle which is attached to my jacket when we are out & about & he always keeps close to me…. He loves to talk to people we meet and tell them all about me and the special job that I do…. He, he, It really wouldn’t surprise me at all if Tom became a spokesman for My Canine Companion as he is really knowledgeable about the work Assistance Dogs do…. Very frequently we attend fundraisers and information days with Mum and she always tells us what a huge help we are to her… At home when I am not wearing my jacket I get loads of hugs & cuddles and I have to say that I am quite partial to them… Tom really struggled to sleep at night, so when I came to live with him I moved into his room with him & since he has been sleeping all night… Mum is thrilled about that as she has said, that before I came along that she & dad were like “the walking dead”. Now everyone is getting a proper night’s sleep. I am really looking forward to summer when we go to the beach as a family…. I really love playing & splashing in the waves with Tom & playing fetch on the strand…. I love being an Assistance Dog, helping Mum & Dad to take care of Tom…. Please check back soon & I’ll let you know more about all the adventures that I get up to with Tom, as I am very sure that there will be plenty…. Woof, Queta Doodle.

Assistance Pup Freddy Brian has been diagnosed with Autism. At the time we decided to get him an assistance dog he was an only child and we felt that the dog would bring him out of his shell. Freddy came to us in 2013. He is a golden doodle (poodle x golden retriever).At the time I was pregnant with my daughter and I did have concerns about bringing a dog into the house with a baby due.   The charity at the time reassured me that there would be no fear of anything happening with the baby as long as I made the introductions correctly.

When I had Linda Freddy took to her like a duck to water. When she cries he goes over as if to comfort her. I never trained him to do this. He follows Brian everywhere around the house I trained Freddy to be a well mannered social dog. We took him everywhere with us. He came to Dunnes and Tesco. He went to Smyths with Brian and waited patiently for him while he did his swimming lessons. He drops Brian to school and Linda to the minders with me when I am off work. All the children at school love to see “Fab Freddy” coming as he has been christened. Sixth class were reading about assistance dogs in general and I was asked to bring him in to do a demonstration. They learnt how to treat assistance dogs and what it means to have Autism. I have now graduated and I am a fully qualified Service Dog.

The Story Of Benny the Dog Hiya Everyone!!! My name is Benny but I’m also called Benny boo and Ben Boozles I don’t mind either way. I am a fully trained service dog from My Canine Companion. I used to live down in Limerick until one day I was told by my friends Cliona and Linda (those would be the human type…not the 4 legged type) that there was a special boy who needed a friend like me and then BAM I met my new best friend Jake!! Jake lives in County Kildare with his family Mum, Dad, his big sister and brother and not forgetting the two lovely female dogs, Shelly and Holly, boy they got my tail wagging! I am a very handsome pure black Labrador/Setter cross and not to brag but I get lots of compliments on my silky coat. As a service dog a part of my job requirements is to help look after my boy Jake and make sure he is safe at all times as sometimes Jake gets overwhelmed with too much chaos and noise and will try and run away from his family. When this happens I know I need to step up and give Jake some comfort, he likes my floppy ears and will stroke them and give me hugs until he feels better then we can finish our adventure and if we’re really good Mum will take us to McDonalds or better yet the dog park! We like to run and play there together and I get to socialize and make new doggy friends. When we’re at home Jake and I like to cuddle and Jake loves when I lie on my back and make funny faces because when I do that I get belly rubs which are the best things ever. Jake also likes when I give him kisses which is a command I was taught and Jake loves it!. I love my best buddy Jake and as much as I’d like to continue talking, I have a date in front of the fire with my two ladies Holly and Shelly xxx Love Benny xx

Name: Kenny Breed: Goldendoodle Age: 2yrs 1 month Best Pal: Oliver, age 6 Occupation: Autism Service Dog What does that involve?: I escort my pal in supermarkets, home from school and family outings. When the sights & sounds get too much for him, I stay steady like a rock. When he has the urge to run, I don’t – that reminds him that it’s safer to stay beside Mum. Favourite part of the job: Knowing that I keep my pal safe. How long in this job?: I began informal training when I was 10 weeks old with my pal’s family, simple obedience & socialisation – which means going to shops/restaurants to get used to noise & human commotion. When I was ~18months I went to Cork HQ to undergo intensive training – crossing roads, distraction training. Favourite treat: Cooked sausages Hobbies: Robbing *ahem* gathering socks, jogging in the local dog run and practising being awesome.

Google is qualified since December 2014 he has changed our life’s completely. We were completely house bound and could never go anywhere with Layla, our lives had changed and it was very hard to see a brighter future  but since we got google that is all changing . We are able to walk to school and to the shops and go to parks and this year we are planing a family holiday to lanzarote in December . Google is a massive help and I would find it very hard with out him now , Layla wears her harness witch is attached to googles coat and he keeps her so safe and when we’re out in public people are aware that Layla is not like other children.  She is learning how to say lots  of new words like stop , forward, left and right by listing to me telling google . Layla can get the chance just to be her and that’s all with the help of google. We are so great full to MCC for giving us google and we are still helping with the fundraising as they get no help from the government. Mcc has been picked this year as one of the charity’s with Cycle 4 causes . There is over 70 men cycling 444km over 4 days to rise much needed funds. Google is a massive part of our family and Layla has a life long friend ❤️

Mindie doodle was 8 weeks when she joined our family in Oct 2013.Mindie was instantly loved by the whole family. She is currently training to be a service dog. She brings friendship loyalty companionship safety & unconditional love & trust.