Carson City Woman Scheduled to Get Service Dog After Long Wait

By: Staff Email
By: Staff Email

RENO, Nev. -- Everyday life for one Carson City woman with a rare genetic disease is about to get a lot easier.

Carrie Henrichsen is diagnosed with Friedreich's Ataxia, which makes everyday tasks difficult for her. Friday in Reno, the Canine Assistants program awarded her a service dog.

Henrichsen's dog will be specially trained to meet her needs.

"Part of what I like about Canine Assistants is they do it more personal," Henrichsen said. "That's why it might take a little bit longer, because they make sure that you're a good fit, the program is ready to go, they can sponsor the dog for you."

Canine Assistants Service Director Lindsay Fetters says the application process is geared toward making sure the person and the service dog work well together.

"We do a home interview and a phone interview to make sure she's appropriate and also that we are producing a dog that's going to meet all of her needs," Fetters said. "So we want to visit her in her environment to see exactly how the dog can help and to make sure that the dog we're working with back at Canine Assistants in Atlanta is going to be suited for her."

Despite having to wait about three years to get her service dog, Henrichsen says it will be worth it, "I live on my own, so this'll be a huge help for me."

Henrichsen will travel to Atlanta for a two-week training camp, during which time she will choose her dog and learn how to work with it. The service dog - and the process for Henrichsen getting it through Canine Assistants- is sponsored by Milk-Bone and Sam's Club.

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