Tucsonan receives new K9 companion thanks to CA organization - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Tucsonan receives new K9 companion thanks to CA organization

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Bernard and Corky (Source: Canine Companions for Independence) Bernard and Corky (Source: Canine Companions for Independence)
Bernard and Corky working together. (Source: Canine Companions for Independence) Bernard and Corky working together. (Source: Canine Companions for Independence)
Bernard giving Corky a little kiss  (Source: Canine Companions for Independence) Bernard giving Corky a little kiss (Source: Canine Companions for Independence)
Bernard and Corky (Source: Canine Companions for Independence) Bernard and Corky (Source: Canine Companions for Independence)

Skylar, a Sahuarita girl got Hamako the canine companion she's needed, thanks to Canine Companions for Independence in California.  Here is the story of another Southern Arizonan who graduated at the same time as Skylar and his new canine companion.

He spent the first 25 years of his life walking around on two legs, but after a skydiving accident in 2012, he is now paralyzed and cannot walk. 

"I have two lives," said Bernard Ke-Aloha Dime. "Birth to 25 and after."  He is matter-of-fact about the major trauma that changed his life. 

"Spending 25 years of my life able-bodied and now with a disability has given me a matchless lens with which to view the world," said Dime in a recent release.  "It's given me a wisdom I wouldn't have gained otherwise."  His passions for art, music and fitness help keep him positive, as does Corky, his new canine companion.

Corky was trained in about 40 different commands to help him assist Dime in his daily routine.  He retrieves dropped items, opens and closes doors, drawers, and even flips on the lights.  According to Dime though, the best thing about Corky is his companionship.

"I've been dealing with my injury, for the most part, alone," said Bernard.  "It can be tough at times.  Corky is a great companion and a good friend.  He puts a smile on my face.  He's a unique character, he's funny, he snores extremely loud and when I groom him he falls asleep.  He's a really playful dog too." 

The two completed a two week training course at Canines Companions for Independence in Oceanside.  It was during this intense training that Dime and Corky learned to work together, safely and effectively.  Each trainee is matched with a canine companion and provided initial training and ongoing support free of charge.

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