Canine Generated Independence
CGI was started in February 2106 my 6 people all with a need to have a trained assistance dog,
These people consisted of
Jessica Griffiths – That’s me I became the CEO
Natalya Chacon – with many years experience in the dog training world and working for many years to have psychiatric Assistance dogs recognised as a qualified trainer she became the first person I needed to be able to achieve any goals when it came to assistance dog training, luckily for me she was willing and hasn’t stopped berating CGI all hours of the night and day since,
Jemma Gibson Faux – The Brains with an aptitude for marketing and numbers Jemma got us up and running with the basics such as our website and bank account and is our Accountant.
Taygen Stevie Kelleher – A great friend to all of us and a passion for dogs and equality wanted and does help wherever she can.
Measach McIntosh, was part of our initial dream and her part in getting us up and running was as significant as anyone’s but unfortunately due to her health chose to not become a trustee.
We Launched CGI at Crufts 2016 when Four of the founders attended crufts with each of their dogs, all the 4 dogs had previously been trained to a high standard and had their tasks and we were confident were able to cope with such a high energy demanding atmosphere.
During 2016 we added some members to our team we were growing and thriving and dogs were achieving and people needed us, so we added.
Selina Valentine -Dog trainer who now specialises in puppy socialisation for us as well as running assessments, workshops, and well , being Kugas mum (Kuga is a chocolate lab one of our first dogs to qualify and adorable to boot)
Micahel Keane – a psychiatric charge Nurse and a valuable member to have we have a high number of members with Mental Health diagnosis’s and having someone who understands their needs and someone available to anyone who needs to talk is invaluable.
Serena Bilcock _ Guardian Angel otherwise known as secretary Serena manages our filing and sends out emails keeps records and generally does her best to keep me sane!
During 2016 CGI helped Disabled people train to high standards in line with other world class organisations 18 assistance dogs of various breeds all with excellent temperaments, obedience and a minimum of 3 mitigating tasks each.
We have become an Incorporated Non-profit organisation registered with HMRC and now have a members total of 83
To help us manage these members we have added trainers officially to our head count.
Jeanne Price behaviousist
We have gained support from some of the world’s best dog trainers including Martha Hoffman, (Hearing dog’s trainer) Nando Brown and Jo Rosie Haffenden both world class dog trainers with exceptionally successful careers, Including Channel 4’s Rescue dog to Superdog business support from companies Including Barker and Barker and Thrive.
But it’s not about who we are, know or who thinks we are doing a great job in the dog training world it’s about the people who need our help and it’s about what having our help does for them
So, I will start at the beginning and then add some testimonials from our members.
In the beginning there’s Hugo my White Standard poodle who is now 3 years old, for me Hugo is a life saver and I mean literally he allows me to be able to sleep at night knowing if I need to wake because of my berating and take medication he will alert me to this, by licking me and pawing at me to wake me up, If I’m about to faint before I’m made aware by standing up and crashing he will lay his legs over mine and tell me I need to stay seated or get up slowly, If I do faint he will lay beside me and rest his head on me so when I awake I’m not alone, He will fetch a phone, a medication bag and a drink. He allows me to go out alone by minimising my anxiety because I have my early warning system, if I drop my keys and can’t get them he will, if I can’t get an inhaler he will pick it up or go and fetch me one from designated places such as my hand bag or if I’m home beside my bed. He helps me get dressed and undressed so I don’t have to ask someone to help me, will stay with me when I bath and seek help if I need him too, he can be quite useful with helping with washing and turning of lights, but these are added bonus tasks for Hugo. Hugo gave me independence to go to a shop alone, to lunch with friends to meet people and manage CGI, to stay away from home without my husband needing to care for me. He is pretty amazing he is my best friend you wont very often if ever see me without my Hugo. Ask Hugo who he is and if he could talk he would probably tell you he is a sociable guy that loves to run off lead and play ball both of which he does plenty of he really doesn’t see what he does as extraordinary but I know different, and I will be forever in his debt.