In Colorado alone, it’s estimated that more than 275,000 people live with disabilities. For this often-overlooked population, simple tasks like opening doors, picking up dropped objects, doing the laundry – even going outside – represent challenges that can seem insurmountable. Without a way to live more independently, those with disabilities can find themselves isolated from friends, family and everyday life.
Enter Canine Partners of the Rockies (CaPR). This non-profit group strives to create a world where highly trained dogs help individuals with mobility-limiting disabilities lead more fulfilling and independent lives. CaPR’s canines retrieve objects, pay at the checkout counter, assist with dressing, open and close doors, and turn lights on and off. All important tasks to be sure, but they do so much more.
Consider Jason, who as a teenager was in automobile accident that left him a quadriplegic. After the accident, Justin felt isolated and alone, since many people are hesitant to start up a conversation with someone in a wheelchair. That changed when CaPR paired Justin with Rocky. The black Lab was a huge help with daily tasks, but equally important, he served as an icebreaker and conversation starter when the duo was out in public. Rocky truly transformed Jason’s life, helping him gain independence and sparking increased social connections.