How CCS Came to Be

Kai, Zuko and Korra

The Beginning

Hello! My name is Susan Walker. I am a native Michigander and I have lived in Southeast Michigan my entire life. I met the love of my life in 1980 and we married in 1982. In 1986 we moved to Clarkston where we raised our two children. In 2014 my husband of 32 years passed away in his sleep at the age of 58. Six weeks later I added Korra to my home and our journey began.

I had Shepherd/Collie mixes during my adult life and adopted many cats over the years. While I strongly believe in adoption, I fell in love with Dutch Shepherds. Not just because of their beautiful brindle coats and incredible ears, but because of their intelligence, strength and sensitivity.

Dutch Shepherds are working dogs and almost all of the Sheriff K9s in my county are Dutch Shepherds. Because of their intelligence and strength of character, follow-through and consistency in training and daily living are a must. The example I was given by the breeder, CherCar Kennels was catching the dog chewing on your rug. You correct the dog. The dog starts chewing on a different edge of the rug. This actually happened with one of my dogs! It was a struggle to control my laughter as I corrected the dog!

Korra gave me the love, support and companionship I needed and helped me find my inner strength to be the leader she needed me to be. This helped me move forward and live my life as a single woman and parent.

Service Dog Foster Pups

I met Jacob and Deb of Helios Kennels and fostered three service dog pups for about six months each. While two went on to become service dogs, Kai, the third foster pup, was adopted by me when there was an issue with the client.

Fostering these pups was an amazing experience. I took them everywhere. Because I was in a period of deep grief, I was struggling with being out in crowded places. The pups helped me by giving me comfort and support. They were something to focus on which lessened my awareness of the chaos around me. We had many adventures and the first pup came to the hospital with me while my dad was dealing with a health issue and surgery. He kept my family relaxed and it was amazing to see the effect this pup had on people as we walked the halls. Their faces and body language would immediately soften when they caught sight of us. It took twice as long to walk anywhere because we stopped frequently to visit with passersby. It was an amazing experience.

In addition to basic obedience training, Service Dogs need to experience real-world situations and I supported them as they went out into the world. Because of this, we had many adventures including restaurants, grocery stores, malls, elevators, escalators, moving sidewalks, etc. It is such a joy to help an unsure pup grow into a confident young dog.


Meet the Pack

Korra

Quiet and Wise, Korra is the smallest of the three yet keeps the other two in line.

Zuko

Zuko is best described as Joyful and Exuberant.

Kai

“Happy” bests describes Kai. His entire butt wiggles when he wags his tail.

Peach & Sophi

Adopted as kittens, these beautiful sisters are over 13 years old. With continuous reinforcement, the dogs have accepted them into the pack and treat them with gentleness.