Canine Companions for Independence providing magic for Shannon Cogan’s family

Canine Companions for Independence providing magic for Shannon Cogan’s family
WAVE 3 News anchorwoman Shannon Cogan’s 11-year-old son Colt has spent much of the last five months with a service dog named Wink (pictured above). (Source: Shannon Cogan)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - WAVE 3 News is teaming up with Canine Companions for Independence. Soon, you will be able to watch on WAVE 3 News Sunrise what it takes to raise one of these incredible dogs from the oldest service dog agency in the country, to assist a person with a disability to live independently.

WAVE 3 News anchorwoman Shannon Cogan’s 11-year-old son Colt has spent much of the last five months with a service dog named Wink. Here’s why she loves Canine Companions for Independence.

I am so excited WAVE 3 News is partnering with Canine Companions for Independence because I know first-hand the magic these service dogs create for their human partners.

My son Colt, now 11 years old, was matched with a Canine Companion named Wink, a lab-golden retriever cross, in August.

Over the last several months, we have watched their bond grow, and with it, Colt’s confidence. When people ask Colt about Wink, Colt -- who has been in speech therapy since he was born because of a cardiac arrest, hearing loss, and cleft palate -- is excited to tell them about her.

Wink helps Colt with his physical therapy exercises. For instance, when he does a plank, she crawls under him. She also helps stretch out his hamstrings by placing her body across his legs. Wink helps Colt get his evening shot by putting her paws on a stool so he can hug her, and helps Colt take off his clothes by using the command “tug.”

When Colt feels anxious, or needs some time just to relax with comfort, Wink is there. She knows 50 commands, and when she is working and helping Colt, her tail wags nonstop.

In their short partnership, we have watched Colt’s ability to engage with others his age improve. Colt says Wink is his best friend.

Colt’s twin brother, Cade, loves Wink so much for what he is doing for his brother that for his birthday this year, he asked his friends to donate to Canine Companions for Independence instead of giving him gifts.

We are so grateful for Canine Companions for Independence and I can’t wait for you to see how these puppies are trained, and then go on to be matched with a person for life-changing results.

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