Mutts in mor­tar­boards

Pasatiempo - - Mixed Media -

Grad­u­a­tion is al­ways a big deal — and for lo­cal dog lovers, a spe­cial day is com­ing up. The an­nual As­sis­tance Dogs of the West grad­u­a­tion cer­e­mony takes place at 6 p.m. Tues­day, May 18, at the Santa Fe Com­mu­nity Con­ven­tion Cen­ter, 201 W. Marcy St. The Santa Fe-based non­profit, which was founded in 1995, trains and pro­vides as­sis­tance dogs to peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties to help build in­de­pen­dence, and con­fi­dence. Roughly 30 dogs a year — mostly Labradors, golden re­triev­ers, or mixes of the two breeds — go through the process, learn­ing at least 90 com­mands to help their own­ers. The grad­u­a­tion gig spot­lights the time for the dogs to leave their train­ers and move on to their new own­ers. Bring Kleenex, in other words. Tick­ets are $10 avail­able from the Len­sic Per­form­ing Arts Cen­ter (211 W. San Fran­cisco St.; call 988-1234). Visit www.as­sis­tance­dog­soft­hewest.org for more de­tails on the or­ga­ni­za­tion.

Pooch and cir­cum­stance: as­sis­tance dog Jack­son

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