How 9/11 Firefighter Met His Service Dog

With a pep in his step, Valor padded across the stage to receive his diploma. But Valor is no ordinary graduate.

The 2-year-old Labrador-golden retriever mix is an assistance dog specially trained by the nonprofit Canine Companions for Independence (CCI).

Over the past two weeks, he’s been getting to know his new handler, Paul Monfre, as they both learn the skills they need to work together.

Valor’s new job? He is the service dog for Paul Monfre, 52, a retired FDNY firefighter who is in pain from an old military injury and from his work at the World Trade Center after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Valor will be assisting Monfre by picking up or reaching for items. He will also encourage Monfre to leave the house more often, something difficult for him due to pain.

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