It isn’t often that the Dedham Rotary Club has a 4-legged guest at its weekly meeting. Rainbow, a disabled assistance black Lab, and John Moon, his owner, were invited to bring awareness to the vital work that assistance dogs do in our communities.These dogs work with autistic, hearing-impaired, and disabled veterans, and undergo a vigorous training program to make sure they are suitable for a human partner.
 
 
With the donation, the Dedham Rotary Club is invited to join the Name-A-Puppy Program.The Club has submitted six suggested names for female and male dogs that are 8-weeks old coming into the training program. NEADS (National Education for Assistance Dog Services) provides photos, updates of the dog’s socialization and training, and an invitation to the formal “graduation” of the dog upon completion of the program.  Notification is also sent when trainers match “our” dog with a disabled individual.
 
Rotarian Jeannine Lathum recently attended a graduation in Princeton.  Of the 40 or so dogs graduating that evening, Jeannine said that not one of them barked during the entire evening. “It was a very moving experience and there wasn’t a dry eye in the audience”, she said. For more information on NEADS, call 978-422-9064 or dsheridan@neads.org