Giving Tuesday: Sometimes Givers Need Help

I like the idea of taking a day the week after the craziest, greediest shopping day of the year and making it about giving instead of getting.

Today, Rebecca Vogel and her family could use some help.

Rebecca’s a vet student at Cornell University and a puppy raiser for Canine Companions for Independence. That means that while pursuing a pretty intense degree, she’s volunteering a good amount of her own time and money to raise puppies to be trained as service dogs for folks with disabilities.

Thanksgiving week, Rebecca and her puppy in training, Kip, were heading home to New Hampshire from school when they were involved in an auto wreck with a semi truck. Her injuries, a traumatic brain injury and crushed vertebrae, require surgery, at least one of which she’s already had. Sadly, Kip was lost in the crash.

When someone is injured, there are many expenses involved. Even with good insurance, there are things that aren’t covered. For example, Rebecca’s family is staying with her in Albany while she’s in the hospital, and it’s always expensive to stay out of town for an extended period of time, especially right around the holidays. There are also lost wages, which can be devastating this time of year.

On this Giving Tuesday, consider giving something to a young woman whose whole life is focused on giving. Honor Kip and show love to Rebecca by making sure that as Hanukkah winds down, the Vogels know that they’re cared for and that Rebecca’s commitment to making others’ lives better is appreciated.

All but $1,000 of everything donated will go directly to assisting the Vogels during this difficult time, including sending flowers to the hospital. In Kip’s memory, $1,000 will be donated to Canine Companions for Independence.

Click here to give.

This photo of Rebecca and puppy was taken from her fundraising site at

This photo of Rebecca and puppy was taken from her fundraising site at


Blood, Sweat, and Tears

If that title didn’t get your attention, I don’t know what will.

There’s a question that I get asked a lot, and I never feel like I have enough time to do the answer justice:¬†Did you train her yourself?

I’m going to give you a really quick overview of the journey of a CCI puppy from birth to retirement, but my plan is to spend the bulk of this article paying homage to the people behind our four legged life savers.

So for starters, No. No, I did not train my dog. Continue reading