After losing their basset hound of 14 years, Woodbury residents John and Jeanne Segar knew they didn’t want another long, full-time commitment to a dog as they neared retirement with travel plans. Now on their fourth puppy, Harry VI (or Prince Harry, as they call him), for nonprofit organization Canine Companions for Independence (CCI), they help train puppies to enhance the lives of people with disabilities. “This has been one of the most fulfilling relationships that we have had in our lifetime,” Jeanne Segar says.
Puppies are sent to them at about two months old, and their favorite moment remains when they pass the leash to the puppy’s forever-person. “You will cry, but it’s not because you are so wrapped up in your dog that you don’t want to see your dog move forward,” \Segar says. “You cry because you recognize the companionship and independence you are helping another person have. Our work gives to others in a way that frees. It frees that person receiving our dog from being homebound,” she says. “Our dogs unleash life.”