Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Toliver and Forrest's Bond Grows 3/5/14

Today as Toliver and I wait for you Forrest, outside the Hyperbaric Chamber, he remains focused on the door, waiting until you reappear.  His whole demeanor changes when he catches sight of you. You are HIS person and he is totally devoted to you.  If your voice raises in frustration, he moves immediately to place his head in your lap or touch your hand.  His unwavering focus on your face says, "Let me carry your load.  I can handle it."

 Day after tomorrow, you Toliver and I will meet with CCI trainers and other recent graduates for your recertification test. You haven't been able to get out much since your surgeries, so this week Tori was home from school and volunteered to help you and Toliver sharpen up your public skills at Wal Mart.   You and Toliver navigated the aisles like a well seasoned team and Toliver demonstrated his ability to open the refrigerator door by pulling on the attached felt rope.  Then Tori pulled out the country ham we brought and subtly dropped it on the floor.   I pushed your  wheel chair forward and you told Toliver, "Let's Go."  He walked forward proudly by your side and never so much as glanced at the tempting ham as he strode right over it.

                                          Toliver celebrates with you and Tori by selecting a new chew toy!

You and Toliver are ready, Darlin.  For your recertification and for what ever other unknown challenges lie ahead.  We are eternally grateful for Toliver, Canine Companions for Independence, and for Colleen, who taught Toliver how to love, trust, and heal HIS person.

Colleen, Toliver and Forrest were featured today in the Farmville Herald cover story.   Try this link to read about them: 

We hope you will enjoy this story and its message of generosity, love, and the bond between assistance dogs, their trainers and the recipients of this amazing program.

With love,



  1. Great article. What a special bond.

  2. Awesome!! Kirk an i are doing recert in may when we do the lunch for that class. But kirk an i have finally bonded. He is always looking and it has been a bad week personally and all he wants to is be near me. I said from the beginning toliver was going to be matched with you. You were the only person he would look up at in class. It was like pffftttt to the rest of us because i am going home with forrest. Lol. Keep up the awesome work! Stephanie and kirkulator

  3. How wonderful that you have Toliver, Forrest - what an amazing help, companion, and friend. And how great for him that he has YOU!! Truly special.

  4. Forrest,
    So great to read the post. I have been checking to see how things are going. You and Toliver make quite the pair. I am so glad your bond is growing stronger everyday. Your mom knew you needed a forever friend to be by your side. Looks like her instincts were right on. It is so good to know that Toliver is so tuned in to you. I know you will both do well at your re-certification, no doubt in my mind. Anything you set your mind to, you accomplish, I really admire that about you.
    I miss you buddy. I look forward to visiting before too much longer.
    Stay strong, keep the faith and keep on smiling :)
    Nurse Karen

  5. Hi Forrest,
    It is heart warming to hear of the bond that has developed between you and Toliver. I sure enjoyed reading the beautifully written article in the Farmville Herald. Keep up the great work, Forrest! Laurie Rice and family

  6. Hi Forrest, So glad to hear about you and look wonderful and so competent with him and Tory! What a team!!!
    Keep up all the hard may be frustrating at times ,but with your entire TEAM, you will conquer all glad to see you up and about, Sharon