Santa Rosa celebrates canine companions at Sit Stay Sparkle gala

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So many dogs serve and delight and enhance the lives of human beings. A celebration Saturday in Santa Rosa focused on dogs that do all that in a most focused, intentional and liberating way.

Canine Companions for Independence calls the open house and fundraising gala Sit Stay Sparkle.

Guests found plenty to do at the Dutton Avenue campus of Canine Companions, the renowned organization that provides highly trained assistance dogs to people with physical disabilities — at no charge. CCI was founded in Santa Rosa in 1975.

Local restaurants and purveyors of fine wine and beer offered an array of tastes. And there were tours, and a silent auction that allowed participants to make bids on their cellphones.

Always a favored attraction of Sit Stay Sparkle was the Puppy Parade.

A stage program featured a live auction, and a video presentation that told the story of a teenage girl with disabilities who received a CCI dog trained by a woman making good use of her time spent in prison.

No one present will soon forget the live moment Saturday that the teen and her mom and her dog met the trainer, who is no longer incarcerated.

A “Fund A Team” appeal encouraged guests of Sit Stay Sparkle to raise their hands and make donations for the creation of more teams of CCI dogs and people who will live more independent and joyful lives once they’re paired with canine companions.

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