From the Producers of Southern Pawspitality and It’s The Great Gala, Charlie Brown — Canine Companions for Independence® presents — The Indies. Join us to celebrate the best of the best assistance dogs, trainers and puppy raisers. Hear heartfelt tales of courage, bravery and compassion while enjoying an evening of food, fun and music. Voted “two paws up” by critics everywhere!
Get your tickets or become a sponsor and help us celebrate another year of transforming the lives of children, veterans, and adults with disabilities.
Back By Popular Demand!
With professionalism and class, this versatile act delivers a fast-paced, DJ style approach to live music offering something for everyone—from Top 40 to Motown, Classic Rock to Pop, Hip Hop, 70's, 80's, 90's & Jazz. Blonde Ambition leaves you wanting more!
Join the celebration and purchase your tickets to this year’s Tales & Tails Gala. As an official guest, you’ll have the opportunity to experience, first hand, the dedication, commitment and selflessness of our Canine Companions for Independence family and share in our mission. Your ticket includes dinner, complimentary drinks and entertainment.
To book your stay at the Rosen Shingle Creek call 1-866-996-6338 or 407-996-6338. Mention Canine Companions for Independence to receive the special rate.
$129 per night
We hope you join us this year for a heartwarming evening of music and storytelling to celebrate the unique connection between canines and their companions. Enjoy these pictures from last years event.
The Southeast Region of Canine Companions for Independence has been making a difference in the lives of people with disabilities since 1989. You can help someone in your community just like one of these Canine Companions assistance dogs and dogs in training.
Leigh & Nerf
Canine Companions for Independence® is the most highly acclaimed assistance dog organization in the United States and our unique and proven Team Training sets us apart by ensuring the match between dog and human is powerful and long lasting. Canine Companions has placed more than 5,400 assistance dogs since our founding in 1975. It’s your generous support that allows us to offer highly trained assistance dogs and a lifetime of support at absolutely no charge to people with disabilities.
Best Friend Sponsor
Best Friend Sponsor
Loyal Companion Sponsors
Pick of the Litter Sponsors
With support from businesses and individuals the Tales & Tails Gala generates money for Canine Companions that will further support our mission of providing highly trained assistance dogs for adults and children with disabilities. Help Canine Companions for Independence celebrate another year of transforming the lives of adults, children and veterans with disabilities, by making a donation to our silent and live auctions. Our assistance dogs not only help their human partners with tasks such as picking up dropped items and opening doors, but provide the constant companionship and love only a dog can. Canine Companions for Independence is supported entirely by donations from individuals, corporations, foundations and special events.
The volunteer puppy-raising program offers a unique opportunity for college students to assist Canine Companions with its mission. Aside from learning about puppy care and training, students gain knowledge and experience with learning theory, record keeping and reporting, public speaking and communication skills. Disability awareness is also gained along with the knowledge of issues regarding the legal aspects of public access for assistance dog users
And college students are some of the best people to train puppies because they are always putting them in social situations. Puppies can be seen following their puppy raisers around campuses wearing their Canine Companions puppy-raising insignia vest and becoming socialized as they attend classes, walk amid crowds and become familiar with the word around them.
All students undergo a rigorous selection process and make a huge personal commitment to be a puppy raiser for a year and a half.
Currently the following colleges have puppy raisers on campus in the Southeast Region — University of Central Florida, University of Miami, Tulane University and Duke University
Leigh Dittman was born with Osteogenesis Imperfecta, or brittle bone disease, which makes her bones weaker than normal and more prone to fractures. So, when it was time for her to apply to attend college she knew that she would need an assistance dog by her side. That’s where Nerf enters the picture.
Now, as a freshman at The University of Tampa, going to public places is a regular part of her life, but it is often in these settings when she struggles with access and picking up dropped items. Nerf assists her by retrieving those dropped items, pulling her wheelchair, carrying her backpack, and other tasks that enable her to lead a more independent life. Besides providing practical support, Nerf adds emotional support and companionship, too, when times are stressful, and when Leigh is feeling overwhelmed from her class load and final exams.
Leigh has always been an achiever and has that same approach in college with a goal to become a neonatal intensive care nurse. With Nerf by her side Leigh will soon be making a difference in other people lives.
Stefan LeRoy is a U.S. Army veteran who was deployed to Afghanistan in 2012. Just five months into his deployment he stepped on an IED while carrying a severely injured platoon member to a medevac helicopter. The injury caused him to lose both his legs below the knee. He received treatment at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and was medically retired in 2015.
Stefan received Service Dog Knoxville from Canine Companions for Independence in February 2016. Knoxville is a 2-year-old yellow Labrador/Golden Retriever cross, who responds to more than 40 commands. Knoxville assists Stefan, who is a bi-lateral leg amputee, by retrieving dropped items, opening and closing doors, and other tasks that will enable him to lead a more independent life.
Stefan uses prosthetics and is very active in adaptive sporting events and has hand-cycled numerous marathons and he competed in the Invictis Games and completed the Boston Marathon.