NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - A volunteer puppy-raiser from New Providence has helped to match an assistance dog with a disabled adult.
Canine Companions for Independence – a national non-profit organization that provides assistance dogs for children and adults with disabilities – has announced that New York resident Anupama Malempati has recently received an assistance dog from Canine Companions for Independence.
Anu was matched with Nebraska, a 2-year-old Labrador/golden retriever cross that has been trained to respond to over 40 advanced commands. Nebraska can turn light switches on and off, open and close doors and retrieve dropped objects.  However, one of her most important jobs will be to provide constant companionship for Anu.
Canine Companions for Independence volunteer puppy raiser Mary Waldron of New Providence, an eight-time Canine Companions Puppy Raiser, raised Nebraska from an 8-week old puppy, and said goodbye to him after a year and a half.
Waldron worked with Nebraska to teach the dog basic commands and socialization skills. When he was old enough to begin advanced training, Nebraska was returned to the Canine Companions Northeast Regional Headquarters in Medford, N.Y., where he worked for six months with the organization's nationally renowned instructors, learning more than 40 advanced commands.
Anu and Nebraska are settling into a routine back home in New York. Anu said, “Nebraska is a very special dog and I hope to have many wonderful years with him.  I can’t thank Mary Waldron enough."