Well, we have almost completed the process with Canine Companions. We are not good examples of the process as far as time wise. I started the application almost 2 years ago, but didnt really turn in all my stuff the first year. Also, I couldn't attend the class in the summer last year as we already had planned a trip to California to see my folks. So, it really doesn't take this long I would imagine, we just had some circumstances that made it last this long. We were notified in January that we have been accepted and are now waiting for a class to attend. We are hopeful that we will be able to attend class in May of this year. I should know Monday. But CCI holds classes in Feb, May, Aug, and Nov. It's a two week training, they provide housing on campus, no charge to you. Dogs are Labs, Golden Retrievers and a cross between them. They are VERY professional! Check out their website and have them send you some information. I can guarentee that it is worth it!
We went through the process with both Canine Assistants and Canine Companions. Both were wonderful, professional and very organized. We had a hard time choosing.
The deciding factor for us was that through Canine Assistants, Jack (at his age of 8) could have a dog that would travel and go to school with him. Through Canine Companions he would have to be older (I believe 16) to handle the dog on his own - I would have been the primary handler. Since he is often with Dad, brother, Grandma, etc., I really wanted the dog to always be there for him. If having only a companion dog, mainly at home, is what works for your family; then you have a lot more choices.
My eleven year old son Alex has a service dog from KSDS. They are wonderful to work with and the abilities of these dogs are absolutely amazing. Even though they are in Kansas, any time we have a question they are right there to answer and help us out. They do not require you to raise funds or pay for the training of the dog unlike some organizations. They do all the fund raising. Can not say enough great things about the organization, their facilities, their staff or their dogs!!! www.ksds.org