Pittsburgh Today Live's Mikey Hood has a closer look at Penguin's hand-in day at Canine Companions for Independence and what's next for him and the Sabo family!
- All right, if you are watching you already know last Friday was an emotional day here on PTL. Penguin, our PTL pup, went on to professional training to become a canine companion for independence.
- We got a chance to see some of the commands that he'll be learning for the next six to nine months at the new Canine Companion for Independence training facility in New Albany, Ohio.
- Yes. And that was impressive, but the hardest part for many of us was watching Jill Sabo--
- --put Penguin's new matriculation cape on him and then say goodbye. And then, look at this. Oh, when she puts her forehead down on his forehead--
Oh, I know.
--oh, it just gets you. And then her son Jack handed over the leash as Penguin was led away to start his training. And Mikey Hood was there in Ohio to witness the bittersweet moment firsthand.
- So Mikey is with us this morning to tell us what happens next for Penguin and the Sabo family hey Mikey
MIKEY HOOD: Hey, good morning, guys. Yeah, the turn in process for the Sabo family and the other puppy raisers was a touching day. But it was truly a time to celebrate and thank them for all that they have done. And for some, it was their first time touring the new CCI training facility in Ohio and a chance to see firsthand what's next for Penguin and [AUDIO OUT] dogs.
MEGAN KOESTER: Penguin has great days ahead of him. He's going to spend time training, getting to know new commands. We're going to spend time getting to know him. We are also going to give him some time with some other dogs so there's lots of time in the play yard also. Our service dogs, when they are matched, go through a two week class. And that class happens right here. So we have fully accessible guestrooms, training spaces for both dogs and people alike.
MIKEY HOOD: Yeah. And there's no question turning in Penguin was an emotional roller coaster for the Sabo family who poured so much time and love into Penguin's initial training. He truly became part of their family. So now they are focusing on the future.
JILL SABO: So trying to focus on six to nine months later when he meets his forever person and he gets matched with his perfect mate and can help them gain more independence. So I'm trying to focus on that rather than the fact that every time when I look back in the car now he's not going to be there. And when I look at his kennel, it's going to be empty. Penguin's an amazing dog and I know he has amazing things in his future no matter what he decides to do. And so I know he's just going to be happy and very well taken care of no matter where he ends up.
MIKEY HOOD: Yeah. Well, if Penguin is paired up with a match, the Sabo family would get to meet that person and Penguin would graduate to his forever home. So we'll keep you updated on Penguin's progress along the way and are excited to see what lies ahead for him. And something to make handing over Penguin easier, over the weekend, the Sabo family welcomed home Hank, their new family pet. Now, he's a 100-pound bull mastiff from a local rescue so they will definitely have their hands full with him. And then in the late spring, they will get a new puppy that we will get to see embark on a brand new journey to become a canine companion for independence. So the good news is, is that we will be following that dog on his CCI journey with the Sabos just like we did with Penguin, so stay tuned for that.
- They really have so much love in their hearts. You can see it.
- I know. I started to say, like, we owe them so much for sharing their story with Penguin. And I started to say on Friday and I couldn't even say it after that segment because it just-- it gets ya. So we really appreciate the Sabo family.
- We do.
- We're excited they're going to have a new puppy in training and we're excited they have Hank, too.
- Hank looks like a handful.
- He does. But he looks like a sweet handful.