Many of us have a favorite teacher from our time spent in school. As it turns out, that is no different for animals who also have gone through training and education. When a puppy named Elijah was just 8 weeks old, he traveled to the state of Colorado to live with a woman named Ashley Wilt. Ashley is a volunteer for the Canine Companions for Independence (also known as CCI) and works as a puppy raiser. She helps to train service dogs in her home. Elijah lived with Ashley for two years, going everywhere with her. She helped him with the beginning stage of his training, primarily learning to remain calm and confident in all situations.
Elijah and Ashley went on many adventures together in their two years. She worked to teach him 30 commands and socialize him in a variety of situations. He learned how to act in environments like restaurants, malls, movie theaters, and even on airplanes. Elijah and Ashley went on over 25 flights together. Ashley was a great teacher to Elijah, guiding him through puppyhood and into adulthood thanks to her compassion and patience. Their time together drew to an end in February and Elijah left to finish his training. They spent two years together, so saying goodbye was difficult for them both.
Elijah’s final journey was to go to California so he could finish his training for six months. When he was ready to graduate, Ashley decided she needed to be there for his graduation. So, she booked a flight to see her start pupil on his big day. As soon as Ashley entered the room, it was clear that Elijah was as thrilled to see her and she was to see him. Elijah, a typically calm dog, lost his mind when he saw Ashley, running over to her and licking her face and barking. It was a happy reunion for them both. Best of all, Elijah now has a forever home with his new owner, a man named Lance Weir who is a Marine Corps reservist veteran.