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Horton is a 3-year-old Lab/Golden Retriever mix. He was officially trained by Canine Companions for Independence (CCI) to assist someone in a wheelchair. He can pull the wheelchair, pick up things off the floor, push elevator buttons, turn on lights, retrieve food out of the refrigerator and, of course, fetch PJ Library books from the mailbox.
Isn’t he cute?! Read more about Horton below …
From the time Horton was very young, he was overly curious about everything in his environment. For this reason, CCI believed Horton would make a wonderful “Hearing Dog.” He adores children, but because he is so big it was decided he would better serve an adult handler.
Horton communicates with his handler by poking his nose on her leg, stopping and sitting, immediately lying down, or tugging on his leash.
If he hears something, he will stare in the direction of the sound until his handler acknowledges him. In this way, he tells his handler when an airplane is over head, a person is walking behind her, or a car is nearby. This enables his handler to venture into public and feel safe.
Because of the ADA [American’s with Disability Act] and the DOJ [Dept. of Justice], there are now laws in place that ensure Horton can anywhere his handler can go. At the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, he is more than welcome; he is loved by all his co-workers. He sits at the feet of his handler, who calls him "my hero."
Special thanks to PJ Library Los Angeles Program Professional Risa Goldstein for this contribution.
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