Out and About: Hawaii's Hawaii Fi-Do

Out and About: Hawaii's Hawaii Fi-Do


Oahu-based Hawaii Fi-Do trains assistance dogs to offer physical, psychological, and therapeutic support for people who face the daily challenges of life with a disability (other than blindness) and is the only facility of its type on the island. Dogs are individually trained for two years to do work or perform necessary tasks – all pups get basic obedience and socialization lessons along with personalized training to perform such tasks as opening and closing doors, finding the phone, pulling a manual wheelchair, and even to alert their handlers and respond to different sounds.

Along with providing companion dogs to people who need them, Hawaii Fi-Do also offers a special S.T.A.R. (student teaching animal responsibility) program training and using at risk youth to work with the dogs and educate the public about the roles and rights of service dogs as well as a "Read to Willie Program," the first and only reading program in the state where reluctant young readers are motivated to read to certified therapy dogs.

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