Richmond Canine Companion trainers in Inaugural Parade - NBC12.com - Richmond, VA News

Richmond Canine Companion trainers in Inaugural Parade

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WWBT) -

Richmond had some very special entrants in the Inaugural Parade today. Four local families and the dogs they are training to be Canine Companions for Independence marched in the parade.

Canine Companions for Independence help children and adults that are disabled or physically or emotionally abused. These local families are puppy raisers that train these dogs.

If you're smiling when you see these dogs, you're like everyone else. These dogs bring smiles to children and adults who need help. Today they brought smiles to the faces of hundreds of thousands of parade watchers.

"All the dogs were sticking their heads out of the bus windows and people were waving, so I think we'll be a big hit," said Terry Laundon, a Puppy Raiser from Midlothian.

"I'm so excited to be here. It's a great opportunity for us to get the word out about Canine Companions," Fran Mason, a Puppy Raiser from Richmond, added.

The Canine Companions were chosen to be one of 53 groups in the parade out of 2800 that applied.

"There's a lot of noise and stimulation they don't get at home in Richmond, so it's good training," said Laundon.

They are honored to be part of history and show how dogs can change the history of someone's life.

"It's a great way to educate people on service dogs that are for people other than those who do not have sight," said Mason. "So that's been wonderful."

These dogs will eventually be placed with disabled people. And those new owners will know that their companions once marched behind the President.

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