President Obama's second inauguration, January 21, is expected to be a "high energy" celebration during which the first family will be feted with a parade from the steps of the Capitol Buidling (where he will once again take the oath of office) to the Washington Convention Center, where the 57th Inaugural Ball will take place later that evening.
In addition to the floats, bands, costumed marchers and military units (complete with horses), this year's participants will include 57 very special service dogs from Canine Companions for Independence.
"President Obama is deeply committed to the idea of service, including a National Day of Service, as part of the inaugural tradition," noted members of the Inauguration Committee. "Many of the groups chosen to march in the parade reflect the idea of serving one another and giving back to the community."
Founded in Santa Rosa, CA in July 1975 by Bonnie Bergin, CCI has grown to a national organization that trains four types of dogs- service dogs (primarily mobility assistance), skilled companions trained to work with an adult or child with a disability under the guidance of a facilitator, hearing dogs for the Deaf and hard-of-hearing, and dogs for "facility teams."
Facility teams are made up of a dog and partner, who is usually a rehabilitation specialist, educator, or caretaker. Primarily, these dogs exist as highly-specialized therapy dogs, and help out in the mental, physical and emotional development of a person in need. These dogs also carry most of the skills of service dogs as well as specialized skills for whatever type of facility the dog will be working in. Breeds used are purebred Labs and Golden Retrievers, or mixes of the two.
All dogs are given to disabled individuals for free, with all expenses of the dogs (breeding, raising, and training), paid for by private donations, such as those from separate foundations, corporations, or individuals, as well as fundraisers.
Readers can contact their nearest CCI center to learn more about volunteer activities in that area by going online tohttp://www.cci.org/site/c.cdKGIRNqEmG/b.4010985/k.C63D/Regions.htm