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Wasatch Wag The Wasatch Champions Newsletter

Inside This Issue

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See the results of our first poll!

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We Are The Difference 4
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Makers! AJ Bennett & Rowdy Loenshal

Wow! I am constantly amazed at the growth of the Wasatch 5 JJuusstt tthhee FFaaccttss
Chapter news
Champions since beginning the puppy-raising journey with
Stella last fall. Take a look at these statistics: 6 D
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A testimonial about becoming a
• Active member families rose from 23 (2009) to 64 in CCI facility dog from Gamay III.
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• Utah graduate teams rose from 9 (pre-August 2009) to U
16 (2010)!
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• Puppies in Program rose from 8 (July, 2009) to 19 RRoxAnn Baallll
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(September 5, 2010)! A
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• Potluck attendance has grown annually from 35 (April, TThhoom maass
2009) to 45 (October, 2009) to 75 (June, 2010)!
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This growth is purely a reflection of your dedication to the
mission of CCI and how strongly we as a chapter support and PPaaw
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CCI graduate teams and PRs
uphold that mission! –Dawn Thorne
experience around town

U p d a te s fr o m th e L e a d e r s h ip
Team *
Wasatch Champions Cookbook
Pre-order your Wasatch Champions Cookbook to get it
in time for the holidays. All proceeds will be donated to
CCI. Simply e-mail your order to and we will have your
copies printed. We would like to thank everyone for
submitting over 300 recipes! This first edition of our
cookbook is sure to be a great success.

Membership Meeting September 30th

at Camp Bow Wow
We are having our second open membership meeting
of 2010 at Camp Bow Wow (address on page 3) on
September 30th at 7:00 PM. The meeting is open to
everyone and we hope to see you there! Bring your
ideas for chapter goals, fundraising, and outreach.

*Kelly Bussio, Susan Daynes, Melanie Dutcher, Amy

Kernan, and Dawn Thorne. Contact information
provided on page 11.
Pupular Opinion
This quarter’s Pupular Opinion Poll asked
about tips and tricks for dealing with
shedding. We received the following
• I use the Furminator brush to help
remove the undercoat. It works
better than other brushes I’ve used.

For the Next Issue…..

The snow is coming! How do you exercise
your dogs during the winter periods? Send
your tips and creative ideas to


Training Schedule
Classes for CCI Puppies in Program – Graduate Teams and Observers

RoxAnn Ball (left) volunteers her time to help PRs meet their 2 -class per
month training requirement. Classes are held at the Brickyard Kennel,
1221 East 3300 South, Salt Lake City, UT 84106.
You can contact RoxAnn at

Classes are typically held on Wednesdays at 7:00 PM. The class days, times, and
locations are subject to change. Many of the classes for the older pups are held in
the field (i.e., Library or Gateway) to give them training in public places. Please find
the updated schedule at

Training and classes are broken down by age groups as

Kinderpups: up to 6 months
Basic: 6 – 10 months
Advanced: 10 months to Turn-in

**PRs of female pups: Remember that you must board your pup while she is in heat. CCI will reimburse
you for the boarding charges. Brickyard Kennel is experienced at boarding CCI females in heat.

Free Grooming for Grads

Camp  Bow  Wow*  will  give  one  free  bath  &  nail  trim  each  month  to  each  of  
your  canine  partners.  This  offer  applies  to  any  CCI  working  graduate  dog.  
Graduates  will  be  asked  to  provide  vaccination  records,  showing  current  
on  rabies,  distemper,  and  bordatella.  We  prefer  (but  won't  require,  as  we  
do  for  clients)  that  bordatella  be  received  within  the  last  six  months.  
Please  contact  Amy  at  Camp  Bow  Wow  (  or  801-­‐330-­‐
8291)  for  more  details  or  to  schedule  an  appointment!    

*Offer  good  at  the  Camp  Bow  Wow  located  at  3600  South  475  West  in  Salt  Lake  City.  


Puppy Raiser Spotlight: AJ Bennett & Rowdy

December 4, 2009 was a day that changed our lives. That was the day we went to Salt Lake City Airport
to pick up Raisen II. She is our first CCI puppy. We are AJ Bennett and Rowdy Loenshal and we live in
Riverdale, UT.

Today Raisen is a 10 month old full black lab who is turning into quite a lady. She has learned that
putting on her gentle leader and cape makes her a working dog and she is calm, cool, and collected.
However, without the collar and cape she lives up to her nickname, Princess Raisen Kane.

Raisen has been to classes at both The Brickyard in SLC and Don’s Pet Care in Ogden. She is now
continuing her education at Don’s Intermediate Puppy Class. Her best friends are Wonka, Burma, and
Donnie. When they are together you can sense that they would much rather be playing than working,
but they know what they have to do.

Recently we got permission to take Raisen to work. She is now an IRS dog with Wonka. She goes to
work with us on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. She splits her time between Rowdy’s desk and
mine and takes walks some days with co-puppy raiser, Carol Jackson who also works at the IRS. Just
about everyone in the building knows her name and they say hi to her as they walk by. They are
extremely good about asking if she can be greeted and patiently wait until she is seated before petting her.
I know it’s harder for them than it is for her. Everyone at the building loves both her and Wonka and
support the program. It’s good to see everyone smile when they see her walking down the hall.

She knows when either Rowdy or I are sad or upset. She comes to us and snuggles up knowing that just
being there makes us feel better. Raisen got her first real taste of water at the party with the other CCI
graduate dogs and puppies. Now she has her own pink pool. Raisen’s turn-in date is May, 2011 and I
know that it’s going to be a tearful day for both of us. We knew that when this journey started, Raisen
will leave us to start her next leg of Professional Training.

As a veteran I have a wish that she will go to a veteran returning from Iraq or Afghanistan or maybe a
facility dog at a Veterans Affairs center. Of course, our first wish is that she completes her Professional
Training and graduates as an assistance dog. – AJ Bennett


Just the Facts

Seventh Inning Stretch
In July, 2010 over 40 CCI graduates, puppy raisers,
volunteers and their families attended a Salt Lake Bees
baseball game. Eleven (11) CCI canines stood atop the
Bee’s dugout to help the crowd for the seventh inning
stretch! There have been no reported “Change of
Career” for the puppies as a result. Fun was had by all.

Summer Potluck
The Bussio family hosted this summers amazing Wasatch Champions
potluck. A record breaking 23 dogs and 75 people were there to join in
the fun! It was great to see everyone come out and participate. Dog
games included a wet t-shirt contest, bobbing for hotdogs, and musical
hula-hoops. A huge Wasatch Champions thank you to everyone for a
successful gathering.

It’s Raining Puppies

May 2010 was a busy month for puppy
raisers. Puppies in Program Berlin,
Cheri, and Belize (from left to right in the
photo) all arrived at the Salt Lake City
International Airport on the same day.
Just a few days later, Donelly arrived

New Graduate Team in Utah!

A big Wasatch Champions welcome to Skilled
Companion Team Mark, Kaylene, and Caleb with
Raine II. They completed graduation at the the Dean,
Gerda and Trixie Koontz Campus in Oceanside,
California on August 14th


Discovering My Purpose

By Ms. Gamee, Autism Journeys K9 Therapist

From the very beginning it was clear my human family and friends believed in me. They’ve all spent
countless hours helping me reach my potential. It’s taken hard work and dedication, but with their
support I was able to complete my CCI training. When I began Team Training in May, I knew it was my
chance to prove to myself, and those who’ve encouraged me, that I was ready. I was ready to become a
fully licensed service animal.

Team Training was an amazing experience. My K9 classmates and I had the opportunity to practice our
skills with many new people. During the first week of Team Training I worked with many of the
candidates, each one with their own unique abilities. Many of the candidates were seeking a service
animal to assist with their limited physical abilities; others were seeking physical and/or emotional

By the third day, all of my K9 classmates had a pretty good feel for the candidate’s personalities. We had
now gained an understanding of what our individual roles would entail should we be placed with them.
Except for Kate Andersen. She was still a bit of a mystery to the K9s. She didn’t appear to need the same
form of assistance as the others. Why exactly was she here?

As it turns out, I would in fact be the K9 to learn the answer to this mystery. After CCI matched Kate and
I up, I spent the rest of Team Training bonding with Kate and trying to decipher her needs. By graduation
day, Kate and I were really in sync and having a great time together. Yet still, I couldn’t quite pinpoint my

Once Kate and I returned to Salt Lake, the pieces of the puzzle began to take shape. I learned that Kate is
a developmental specialist. She spends her days working with children, adults and families affected by
autism. It only took a couple days at the center for me to realize… I wasn’t there for Kate; I was there
with Kate. We were an intervention TEAM!

Turns out my purpose, was so much larger then supporting Kate. My purpose… is to encourage, motivate,
calm and provide security to anyone and everyone in need who walks through the Autism Journeys
doors. It’s an awesome responsibility and one I’m proud to bear.

Each day I’m presented with new challenges. Yesterday I was encouraging two preschool children to take
turns and learn to share. My role was to retrieve the ball when thrown. Kate’s role was to encourage the
children to wait patiently. If a child wasn’t calm, they missed their turn with me. I was quite rewarding,
so both of the children remained calm.

Later in the day, I work with Dawn, the centers speech pathologist. Her client is learning to use
meaningful language. He speaks a lot, but often it’s not directed at anyone or anything. She and I worked
together using cause and effect to teach the power of communicating, as opposed to simply speaking. Kate
modeled giving me commands, while Dawn encouraged the client to use purposeful language. Within
minutes, he too was looking me in the eye and giving clear and deliberate commands. //

Discovering My Purpose
Later, Kate and I took a client on a walk to the gas station. At
first, I thought it was just to stretch our legs; but upon arriving
at the station, I realized my role. I was to be the topic of
conversation. It was my presence that would encourage the
client to interact with others. Kate had secretly arranged for
the gas station attendant to ask the client all about me. I had
been working with this client for the past month, and in that
time she had become the resident “Gamee expert”. Normally,
this client wouldn’t be interested in engaging in a conversation
she didn’t initiate; but with me as the topic, she managed to
answer all of the gentleman’s questions, and even offered to
show him how I respond to her commands. According to
Kate, I also helped ease her anxiety, by allowing her to pet me
throughout the conversation.

Today I had my first experience as the group leader. The group leader is the person, or in my case, dog,
chosen to set a good example for the class by following the rules. Rule number one: Control our bodies.
Rule number two: Stay with the group. Rule number three: Have a nice voice. Rule number four:
Follow directions. And rule number five: Have fun! Being the group leader is a huge honor. Since, I
look a tad differently then the other group members, getting the kids attention and encouraging them to
follow my example is quite fun and entertaining. Apparently, watching me turn off the lights, clean up
my toys, sit quietly at story group and lead the group down the hall is great motivation for the other
kids to follow my lead.

After group, we finished up the day with the parents of a newly diagnosed child. Although they
suspected their two year old had autism, hearing the words out loud seemed to make the reality of
what’s to come too much to handle. Kate and Dr. Roth helped the parents regain their strength and
hope for the future. Meanwhile, I quietly laid on the floor by the newly diagnosed 2 year old. As I
showered him with kisses, his laughter was so strong I could feel it on my belly while he lay next to me.
His parents couldn’t help but laugh through their tears.

As Kate removed my working vest, signaling to me that my workday had ended, I couldn’t help but
leave the center with my head held high. You see… there is no greater gift then giving back. And I get
to give back what I received each and every day. Together, with Kate, I get to be a part of giving the
gift of strength and encouragement. The very gift that helped me reach my full potential is now helping
so many others realize theirs.

My name is Gamee (Gamay lll). I am a CCI graduate and a working member of a Facility Team. My
relationship with Kate may be different from those of Skilled Companion and Service Teams, but my
purpose and my importance in the lives of those around me is equally valuable.


Utah Graduate Teams

1) Kaylene, Mark, Caleb & Raine, Skilled Companion
2) Kate & Gamay II, Facility Dog Team
3) Abram & Icon, Service Dog Team
4) Kelly & Tadaki, Service Dog Team
5) Muffy & Leibe, Service Dog Team
6) Susan & Devi, Facility Dog Team
7) Tim & Sakai, Service Dog Team
8) Carla, Samuel & Alice, Skilled Companion Team
9) Mandalina, Gabe & Fenley, Skilled Companion Team
10) Michelle, Rachel & Gerda, Skilled Companion Team
11) Kandace, Sawyer & Hal, Skilled Companion Team
12) Joseph & Rosner, Service Dog Team
13) Galena, Pablo & Wendolyn, Skilled Companion
14) Annie, James & Alesia II, Skilled Companion Team

Utah Puppies & Their 15) Amy, Sam & Lolo, Skilled Companion Team
16) Gael & Elon, Service Dog Team

Puppy Raisers
1) Hillary - Gloria Kerns, West Valley City (Orion in Professional
2) Mimosa - Denise and Jonathan Yeager, South Jordan (Sugar
in Professional Training)
3) Flair – Jana Clukey and family, Park City
4) Donelly - Linda and David Weiskopf, Pleasant View
5) Belize - Charlene Palmer & Alan Lang, Salt Lake City
6) Berlin - Amy & Bob Kernan, Sandy (Misty in
Professional Training)
7) Cheri - Becca & Shaun Anderson, Logan
8) Grace IV - Gary Cohu, Summit, UT
9) Mylie - Debbie and Dick Tompson, Salt Lake City
10) Jazlyn II - Cassi Fowler, Sandy
11) Kerinne - Brenda and Jonas Lether, Taylorsville
12) Burma II - Lori and Rich Homer, Layton
13) Raisen II - A.J. Bennett and Rowdy Loenshal, Riverdale
14) Nacho - Erica and Charlie Forbush and Josie Hamilton,
Spanish Fork
15) Delmar - Eileen and Ron Sever, Eden/San Clemente
16) Daya - Lindsay and Randy Anderson, Woods Cross
17) Stella - Dawn and Mike Thorne, Olympus Cove, Salt Lake
18) Pascha II - Melanie & John Dutcher; Millcreek, Salt Lake
19) Wonka – Lily Jones, Farr West
20) Macy III - Laura Arneson, Salt Lake City (In Professional


One on One with Trainer RoxAnn Ball

RoxAnn Ball has been training dogs professionally
for over ten years, and is only just now beginning to
experience the downside. That is, she is beginning to
lose some of her former ‘students.’ “Lately it feels
like one a week,” she said, “And I really just want it
to stop!”

RoxAnn began her career as a trainer at 17, when

she entered into a six-month apprenticeship,
followed by three years as a journeyman under Joe
Hobbs. RoxAnn and a friend started the Brickyard
Kennel and Pet Pros, Inc. Dog Training Center in
2000, when RoxAnn was 21. Six years later,
RoxAnn completed her training to become a
Certified Flight Instructor, and flew commercial
helicopter flights for two years while moonlighting at
the Brickyard, including CCI puppy classes. RoxAnn
and other trainers at the Brickyard have been
teaching pro bono classes for CCI since 2003.

“At the time I learned about CCI, it was only Linda [Weiskopf] and Melanie [Dutcher] bringing their
CCI pups to classes, and I started to learn about the ‘rules’ of CCI. Once trainers at the Brickyard
learned about what these guys were doing, we decided to start up a separate class for CCI.”

Since then, RoxAnn and other trainers at the Brickyard have been working with CCI pups and their
PRs once a week. “These guys [CCI pups] are just so good. They’re not scared of anything, they’re not
aggressive.. I train mostly problem dogs with aggression and fear so to me CCI dogs are very easy.”

Indeed, fearful or aggressive dogs are RoxAnn’s specialty. “It’s what I get called for. Either I’ll take [an
aggressive dog] into my home and train them, to give them back, or I’ll do lessons once a week. It’s
inspiring to me that people will work through problems [with their dogs]…these dogs most people
would not keep. People usually call me in a panic, crying, and then a lot of times, by the time I’m done
with the dog they are crying tears of joy.”

RoxAnn’s support has been critical to the growth of Wasatch Champions. Each week, RoxAnn gives
her time to training CCI pups and their PRs, while keeping abreast of CCI’s policies and the progress of
each puppy in program. RoxAnn routinely makes house calls, takes CCI pups into her home for private
evaluations, and answers PR questions around the clock. RoxAnn has also participated in every CCI
Puppy Raiser Workshop presented in Utah. With the increase in Utah puppies in program continuing,
RoxAnn has her hands full!

Although, RoxAnn admits, “I haven’t been to the facility [at Oceanside] and I don’t want to go because
I don’t like to cry in public. [I cry] every time I go to a CCI event!”

When I asked her why she keeps it up, RoxAnn answered simply. “Training CCI dogs can be very
rewarding because you see a result, you have saved or helped someone’s life, you know?” – Laura

Artist Stephanie Saint Thomas to Paint

Dog for Auction.
Local artist Stephanie Saint Thomas has graciously
volunteered her time and amazing talent to paint a giant
Labrador Retriever statue to be auctioned at the Canine
Companions Golf Invitational and Celebration Dinner on
October 29, 2010. All proceeds from the auction benefit
CCI. Visit to see some of
Stephanie’s work.

Did You Know?

DID YOU KNOW that if you have a company, vet,
business, or other very supportive person (financially or otherwise) that
you can ask CCI to send them a "thanks for your support" letter? – Amy

Be sure to submit your Did You Know? Tips to

Paws Up Paws Down

We would like to start this as a regular column in the newsletter. Tell us about your local
establishment experiences, good or bad, with your service dog or puppy in program by e-mailing the
establishment name, location, and a description of your experience to We
will feature 2 to 4 establishments in each issue of the Wasatch Wag.

Paws Up!*
Grounds for Coffee, 25th Street, Ogden, UT Sadie not only treats the puppy raisers and dogs well
but also does a lot of stuff for CCI. She sells the heirloom tomato plants another CCI puppy raiser
grows for which all the proceeds go to CCI. She and her husband have had BBQs inviting all of us
with the dogs. She also serves great coffee. – AJ Bennett

Tona's, Ogden, UT Almost every Friday evening you will find Rowdy and I sitting at the end of the
sushi bar with Raisen by our feet. She is well liked by all the employees and they even posted a
picture I took of her with a bunch of the waiters and waitresses on Facebook. This is also a
restaurant I would highly recommend to CCI people. – AJ Bennett

*Note that all experiences are the opinion of the person submitting the information and do not necessarily reflect the
experience that you will have at the establishment, nor do the actions of any employee at each establishment reflect the
views and opinions of the owner/operator of each establishment.


Wasatch Champions
CCI Contacts
Wasatch Champions Blog Puppy Program Manager
Stu Wahrenbrock
(760) 901-4315
Wasatch Champions
Leadership Team Puppy Program Assistant
Kelly Bussio Becca Gordon (760) 901-4327
Susan Daynes Volunteer Coordinator
Abby Dils
Melanie Dutcher
(760) 901-4308
Amy Kernan Graduate Contact
Dawn Thorne

Please note: Products and services referenced and the links provided here are for your information and
convenience only; no affiliation can be assumed through linking with a site. Canine Companions for Independence
makes no warranty expressed or implied as to the content, safety, product, or quality of any and all linked pages.