By Jenna Jay
La Jolla Brew House will host a “yappy hour” on its dog-friendly patio from 5 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, July 12 as a fundraiser for the Pawz for Wounded Veterans program. In addition to a raffle, 15 percent of sales from food and drink sold during this time will be donated to the program, which works to place service dogs with wounded military men and women — free of charge — to extend their mobility and independence.
Pawz for Wounded Veterans is a program through Canine Support Teams that has placed 25 service dogs (and counting) to veterans since its inception in 2009. The program operates with the help of volunteers like Jennifer Blanchard, who is chairing the Brew House event.
"We've always placed veterans with dogs," Blanchard said, "but with these wars that have been going on and seeing our young military men and women coming back with PTSD, missing arms and legs, agoraphobia … all sorts of disabilities … we decided that as a group, we really wanted to do something for them. They've done so much for us, let's do something for them."
Waiving the $250 application fee and most other expenses that go along with obtaining a service dog, Pawz for Wounded Veterans covers the operating costs for veterans. The program has clients in San Diego County and across the state, and runs mostly on donations.
Blanchard herself is a testament to the benefits of a service dog. She received a labradoodle named Ike from Canine Support Teams four years ago, and proclaims that the support she has gotten from Ike has changed her world.
Living with hereditary angioedema, which causes swelling in her muscles and has accounted for nearly 100 surgeries in less than 15 years, Blanchard was confined to extended periods of rest and recovery before Ike stepped in with assistance. Paying only the application fee for Ike (as opposed to up to $30,000 in fees that some service dog organizations charge), Blanchard said her life changed instantly when she brought Ike home.
"Ike can pick things up if I drop them when I'm in a wheelchair," Blanchard said. "He can press elevator buttons, he can give a cashier my credit card, he can take money out of the ATM for me, he can open the dryer. He's just amazing."
Canine Support Teams spend months preparing dogs for their human companions, and the process is a worthwhile investment to people like Blanchard who have come to rely on the extra help.
"I'm going to do whatever I can do to help whoever I can get a service dog because it changed my life so much that I want to make sure other people, especially veterans, get that chance, too," Blanchard said.
Raffle donations will be accepted until the day of the event, and are coming, to date, from Fit As Fido, Leash Your Fitness, Aussie Pet Mobile, South Bark Dog Wash, PetLovers Publications, Nature's Select, Home Buddies, Sunnybrook Farm Holistic Pet Care, Thick Hair Salon, K9 Care and others. Corner Cupcakes will also be at the event with its signature “Cupcake Truck.” To make a donation, contact Blanchard at (760) 207-1721 or Jennifer.firstname.lastname@example.org
If you go
5-9 p.m. Tuesday, July 12
La Jolla Brewhouse, 7536 Fay Ave.
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