Canine Companions hosts hearing dog graduation in Ocoee

Winter Garden residents Chris and Erika Dold are volunteer puppy raisers and have raised King for 18 months. He has now been matched and will work as a hearing dog.

Erika, Chris, Broden and Daven Dold pose with King and his new owner Nancy Marino.
Erika, Chris, Broden and Daven Dold pose with King and his new owner Nancy Marino.
Photo courtesy of Canine Companions
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Winter Garden residents Chris and Erika Dold have always been animal lovers.

The Dold's became volunteer puppy raisers for Canine Companions 10 years ago as a way to share that love by giving back to the community. 

Since its founding in 1975, Canine Companions has provided service dogs to adults, children and veterans with disabilities and facility dogs to professionals working in healthcare, criminal justice and educational settings, according to the organization's website.

Recently, the Dold's have raised King, an 18-month puppy who has been with the family since he was eight weeks old. 

King was turned into Canine Companions in August 2022 for professional training and was matched as a hearing dog. 

On Friday, March 3, King took the next step in his journey when he graduated from the program. 

The dogs who complete the program are provided free of charge and have been in training for more than two years. The dogs know 45 tasks in order to enable people with disabilities to live a more independent life.

Nancy Marino, from Yorktown, Virginia, was matched with King, who will continue to make a life-changing impact with his new owner. 



Annabelle Sikes

News Editor Annabelle Sikes was born in Boca Raton and moved to Orlando in 2018 to attend the University of Central Florida. She graduated from UCF in May 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in sociology. Her past journalism experiences include serving as a web producer at the Orlando Sentinel, a reporter at The Community Paper, managing editor for NSM Today, digital manager at Centric Magazine and as an intern for the Orlando Weekly.

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