Local Man Says Service Dog Helped Him Gain Independence Back - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Local Man Says Service Dog Helped Him Gain Independence Back

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In honor of International Assistance Dog Week, we spoke to one local man who says he owes his regained sense of independence to his service animal, Forever. 

Jack Mayes, the Executive Director of the Nevada Disability and Advocacy Law Center, was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis when he was just 10 years old. Mayes told me it never occurred to him to get a service animal until the past couple of years, because, as he got older, daily tasks became more difficult for him to do. 

A year ago, Mayes found an organization called Canine Companions for Independence. He says he is grateful for them for pairing him up with his black lab mix, Forever. 

CCI taught Forever (and all of their service animals in training) more than 40 service commands. But Forever is continuously learning new ways to help out her human. 

Mayes says he takes her with him everywhere he goes. In the approximately 12 months he's had her, they have only been separated twice. She even accompanies him to work. 

Some of her daily doggy duties to help her dad out include: turning on/off the lights, picking up things her dad accidentally drops (wallet, cell phone, pen, etc.), opening and closing doors, and a workplace favorite--doggy delivery. This is where she takes important documents to Mayes' coworkers to help save him the trouble of having to walk around the office. 

If you'd like more information about CCI, click here.

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