07/29/16 6:07pm

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Jared Behr, curled into a ball on a bean-bag chair, rarely unclenches his hands on his own. The 12-year-old boy’s cerebral palsy makes him tense up, his grandmother June Behr, explained.

But now Jared — the son of Heidi Behr, a Riverhead EMT who was killed in an ambulance crash 11 years ago — has a friend to help. When Jared pets his assistance dog Zuko, Ms. Behr said, he can finally feel at peace. READ

08/24/14 8:00am
08/24/2014 8:00 AM
Tricia Wright, right, with Clay IV - the dog she raised as a puppy - and Fernando, the service dog’s new owner. (Credit: Courtesy)

Tricia Wright, right, with Clay IV – the dog she raised as a puppy – and Fernando, the service dog’s new owner. (Credit: Courtesy)

We all bond with our pets — some of us even more so than with fellow humans — so it’s difficult to imagine ever giving them up.

But that’s what some North Fork residents — many of whom I’ve had the pleasure of knowing or at least meeting — are doing in order to train service dogs for the nonprofit Canine Companions for Independence. And with the bigger picture in mind, they find it a little easier to let go.  (more…)