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Dogfest raises money for NEADS
By Marcy Murphy, Enterprise correspondentEAST BRIDGEWATER — For Larry Brennan of Boston, the saying, “dog is man's best friend” holds true.
Brennan suffered a spinal cord injury 15 years ago that left him paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair.
About three-years ago, Brennan was teamed up with Emmie, a yellow Labrador Retriever, through the organization New england Assistance Dog Services (NEADS.)
For 30-years, NEADS, a non-profit organization formerly known as the Hearing Dog Program based out of Princeton in central Massachusetts, has been training dogs to help those who are deaf and disabled, and most recently, veterans who sustained life altering disabilities in Afghanistan and Iraq.
On Sunday, a well attended dogfest to raise money for NEADS was hosted in East Bridgewater, by Cristina Crowley owner of The Secret Garden Pet Care Services, and Bob White, a certified master dog trainer and owner of B & B Professional Dog Training.
At the event, pooches and their proud owners had the opportunity to participate in dog-oriented games, and have their dogs professionally photographed for $15 to $20 by Kerry Lynn Photography.
There was also K-9 demonstrations by state Department of Corrections and the Rockland and Hull police departments as well as hot food and music.
Joyce Schmitt, Development Director for NEADS, attended the event where she explained that since the inception of NEADS about 1,000 dogs have been trained for the disabled and deaf, and currently there are about 85 people on a waiting list.
According to Schmitt, 50 percent of the dogs they train come from shelters, and many from breeders.
The group focuses on training Labrador and Golden Retrievers, because their personalities are “retriever based,” she said.
According to the NEADS website, the total cost to the owner for the do

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