9/11 First Responder Receives Perfectly Named Service Dog, Valor

Valor is defined as boldness or determination in facing
great danger, especially in battle; heroic courage; bravery. That
word so perfectly describes every single first responder that gave
their all, day in and day out, in the weeks following 9/11. Many
that conducted search and rescue missions in the rubble that
remained continue to feel the physical effects of their tireless
efforts nearly 18 years later.

Chronic pain, mobility limitations, and breathing difficulties
are common. NYC firefighter and 9/11 first responder Paul Monfre
struggles with these kinds of symptoms in his daily life, making it
difficult to do everyday tasks like pick dropped items up from the
floor. But life should soon be getting a bit easier for Monfre,
with the support of his aptly named service dog, Valor. 

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Independence Facebook

Valor VII is a graduate of the Canine Companions for Independence (CCI)
program. CCI is a nonprofit organization that raises and trains
service dogs, provided free of charge to those in need. Since 1975
they have placed Goldens, Labs, and Golden Lab crosses with
recipients that are physically impaired, have cognitive or
developmental disabilities, or have hearing loss. They also place
dogs in health care and criminal justice settings. They work with
adults, children, and veterans.

Image Canine Companions for
Independence Facebook

They rely on volunteers to raise breeder born newborn puppies
for the first eight weeks of their lives. From there, volunteer
trainers socialize and provide basic obedience training to the pups
for 14-18 months. Once ready, the puppies are matched with a
recipient and the dog and new handler go through the CCI program
together, learning all of the commands the pair will use to support
one another moving forward.

Valor and Monfre were model students. Working with expert
trainers, they learned specific commands but also spent time
bonding. The more bonded the pair, the more successful the working
relationship will be. Going on field trips into public places helps
solidify the pair’s connection and gives opportunities to give
and respond to commands in the real world. Most CCI graduates know
about 40 such commands upon program completion.

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Independence Facebook

At home, Valor will pick things up for Monfre that he has
dropped or grab items for him that are too low to the ground for
him to reach on his own. Monfre’s chronic pain and stamina make
it hard for him to leave home but CCI and Monfre are hopeful that
Valor will help change that.

CCI program coordinator Jessica Riess told InsideEdition.com, “Working on 9/11, he has medical
issues related to that: some fatigue, difficulty breathing. And I
think that Valor’s really going to help him regain some of that
stamina. I feel like this dog is really going to motivate him to
get back to where he was before those things.”

Monfre enjoyed going to school with Valor but is looking forward
to their time together at home even more. He plans to venture out
more with Valor’s help, taking him to the beach on long walks or
even out running. Although Valor will live with Monfre, CCI will
maintain ownership and conduct regular visits to make sure all is
going well with the partnership.

Check out Monfre and Valor’s story in this video that aired
on Inside Edition.

Featured Image Screenshot Inside Edition

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9/11 First Responder Receives Perfectly Named Service Dog,
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Source: FS – Dogs – iHD
9/11 First Responder Receives Perfectly Named Service Dog, Valor