The human-canine bond is truly unique. On our happiest and hardest of days, our dogs love us endlessly. They are our everyday heroes in so many ways. Whether as assistance dogs, working dogs or pet dogs, there are countless tales of man's best friend doing amazing things. Join the fun at your local DogFest as we celebrate the joy dogs bring to our lives. Registration is free. Fundraising is encouraged. There are sponsorship and volunteer opportunities too!
When registering, be sure to indicate you are bringing a dog to get your free DogFest dog bandana. Then fundraise to qualify for some fun DogFest swag!
Be sure to check out our Facebook event page for the latest on DogFest Wine Country, participate in dog-friendly activities and let people know why you are participating. You can even download this fun sign and let everyone know how your dog brings you joy.
DogFest supports the mission of Canine Companions to enhance the lives of people with disabilities by providing expertly trained service dogs free of charge. These service dogs make a profound impact through the jobs they do like opening doors, picking up dropped items, alerting to sounds and much more.
We're excited to celebrate our local client, volunteers and supporters at this fun-filled event for the whole family!
Don’t miss out on DogFest. Join the fun!
Canine Companions transforms the lives of people with disabilities by providing expertly trained service dogs. Our dogs perform practical tasks that enhance independence and reduce reliance on others. They aren't just the eyes and ears, hands and legs of their human partners, they're also goodwill ambassadors and often, our best friends. A student achieves their dreams of attending college. A veteran gets a good night sleep. A patient can endure an additional procedure. Lives are transformed after being matched and working with a Canine Companions service dog.
According to the U.S. Census, nearly 1 in 4 people in the U.S. have a disability. While it costs approximately $50,000 to raise and train every Canine Companions service dog and provide ongoing support to the human-canine team, each dog is provided to the recipient completely FREE of charge. Canine Companions has placed over 7,500 service dogs, but more than 400 people with disabilities are still waiting for a match.
Our service dogs open up new opportunities and spread incredible joy. By raising funds through DogFest, you support our mission and the people we serve. Thank you.
Canine Companions in COMMUNITY
Wallis and Service Dog Renata
Santa Rosa, California resident, Wallis, lives with a movement disorder that affects all of the muscles in her body, causing muscle spasms and abnormal movement. Her disability impacts her vocal cords, reducing her voice to a whisper on bad days. She also has an auditory processing disorder and uses American Sign Language primarily.
In 2019, Wallis was matched with her third Canine Companions service dog, Renata, free of charge. In order to communicate with Renata more easily, Wallis as taught her to understand 65 signs. Renata retrieves coins, credit cards and cell phones, pulls Wallis in her wheelchair and barks on demand to get help.
"I am safe with Renata by my side," Wallis says. "I know that together, we can figure out a solution to any obstacle that comes up. She's truly amazing."
Ken and Service Dog Gavin
Ken, a proud Navy SEAL who lives in Clearlake, CA, has a traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from his time in the military.
In 2019, Ken was matched with Service Dog Gavin free of charge. Gavin is professionally trained in more than 45 tasks, including commands specifically designed to mitigate symptoms of PTSD like interrupting anxiety behaviors and nightmares. Ken also has back injuries and Gavin’s ability to retrieve items from the ground and deliver them to Ken is extremely valuable.
Ken shares, “Gavin brings so much balance to my existence. He brings a sense of calm. Sometimes I need a reminder that things are okay. Gavin provides that reminder.”
Penni and Hearing Dog Hartley
Penni of Cloverdale, California always had some hearing loss, but in 2006 it took a turn for the worse, leaving Penni with no hearing in her right ear and limited hearing in her left.
In 2007, Penni was matched with Hearing Dog Capria, who acted as her “ears” for over a decade. Penni was matched with her second hearing dog, Hartley, in 2020. Hartley is expertly trained to alert Penni to important sounds in her environment like her cell phone, the doorbell, fire alarms and more. This helps Penni feel secure and live more independently.
Penni proudly shares, “My husband no longer has to tell me that the tea kettle is whistling or the microwave is sounding; I have my four-legged girl to do that.”
Check back to learn more about our generous DogFest sponsors.