The hardest part about raising a puppy for Canine Companions for Independence is not all the training you must do.
It's letting the dog go, said Monica Di Nocco, left, a senior at Oak Ridge High School in El Dorado Hills.
She knows she'll be able to say goodbye to her first puppy-in-training, 10-month-old Halo, because she sees the good a companion dog does for her mother, Peggy, who has multiple sclerosis.
Before her mom's dog, Felice, came into their lives, Monica, 17, spent years helping her mother and worrying about leaving her alone.
Felice performs simple yet crucial tasks such as picking things up for Peggy, helping her out of bed or fetching her cellphone.
Felice gives Monica freedom and peace of mind.
So she's giving back.
"You're raising a miracle for somebody else," she said.
"She's kind of like a part of me. I have to put (everything) into her."
To suggest a community volunteer for the I Care column, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.
Read more articles by Autumn Cruz
What You Should Know About Comments on Sacbee.com
Sacbee.com is happy to provide a forum for reader interaction, discussion, feedback and reaction to our stories. However, we reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments or ban users who can't play nice. (See our full terms of service here.)
Here are some rules of the road:
Keep your comments civil. Don't insult one another or the subjects of our articles. If you think a comment violates our guidelines click the "Report Abuse" link to notify the moderators. Responding to the comment will only encourage bad behavior.
Don't use profanities, vulgarities or hate speech. This is a general interest news site. Sometimes, there are children present. Don't say anything in a way you wouldn't want your own child to hear.
Do not attack other users; focus your comments on issues, not individuals.
Stay on topic. Only post comments relevant to the article at hand.
Do not copy and paste outside material into the comment box.
Don't repeat the same comment over and over. We heard you the first time.
Do not use the commenting system for advertising. That's spam and it isn't allowed.
Don't use all capital letters. That's akin to yelling and not appreciated by the audience.
Don't flag other users' comments just because you don't agree with their point of view. Please only flag comments that violate these guidelines.
You should also know that The Sacramento Bee does not screen comments before they are posted. You are more likely to see inappropriate comments before our staff does, so we ask that you click the "Report Abuse" link to submit those comments for moderator review. You also may notify us via email at email@example.com. Note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us the profile name of the user who made the comment. Remember, comment moderation is subjective. You may find some material objectionable that we won't and vice versa.
If you submit a comment, the user name of your account will appear along with it. Users cannot remove their own comments once they have submitted them.