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AKC Canine Partners Offers Protection Plus Fun in One Package

The moment that Allissa Schaefer saw Bean, she knew the little dog needed a savior. The then 15-year-old Schaefer and her family were visiting the local flea market when she spotted a group gathered around a pen of frolicking Dachshund puppies. As she got closer, she realized that not all the pups were enjoying the attention. “One was sitting in the back, very shy and alone, hiding from the group of people staring in,” Schaefer said. “However I came over to the side and he came right to me and started licking my fingers and at that moment I knew he was mine.” Bean was rescued by the Schaefer family who took him to live at their home in Gaston, S.C., where he has been protected since. Because Bean did not have a great start in life, Schaefer made sure he got all the necessary veterinary care, attention and socialization. “Bean likes to play and is very well trained. He graduated from obedience school when he was a year old,” she said. Today, Bean is 5 years old, and Schaefer is a 20-year-old college student who plans to become a veterinarian. Her role as Bean’s protector has not wavered.

This year, she enrolled Bean in the AKC Canine Partners program for all dogs. The program is for mixed-breed dogs and also purebreds, like Bean. In Bean’s case, his AKC registration papers were accidentally destroyed before Schaefer mailed them – and she had no contact information for the breeder. When she heard about AKC Canine Partners, she said she thought it was a great solution for Bean. “I decided to register Bean with AKC Canine Partners because he has been my best friend for five years and helped me through a lot of hard times and I want the very best for him,” Schaefer said. “I would do anything to keep him healthy and happy.”

Enrolling your dog in the program qualifies him or her for an array of benefits valued at more than $100. These include lifetime enrollment in the AKC Companion Animal Recovery Service, a complimentary 60-day trial AKC Pet Healthcare Plan*, and the eligibility to compete in the AKC events of Agility, Obedience and Rally. Their owners can get tons of great tips on training, behavior, nutrition and health through a one-year subscription to AKC Family Dog magazine.

For a limited time, owners are invited to enroll their dogs in the program at the discount price of $24.99 (regular price – $35). For more information, go to

When Nevada resident Kimm Bonecutter heard about AKC Canine Partners, she said she could not wait to sign up her rescue dog Dodger. She submitted his application on the first day of the program – Oct. 1, 2009. “I was elated when I read about the Canine Partners program! Finally we’d have more opportunities to compete, more opportunities for him to have fun,” Bonecutter said. Dodger, a Golden Retriever mix, competes in the exciting sport of Agility in which dogs run an obstacle course consisting of jumps, tunnels, see-saws and more.

But Bonecutter said she also appreciated the other benefits of Canine Partners – especially those that protect the health and welfare of her dog. Dodger was roaming the streets of Las Vegas on three legs before animal control picked him up and turned him over to the local Golden Retriever rescue group. It was discovered that he had suffered a broken hip while living on his own. But thanks to the efforts of the rescue organization and his foster “mom” Bonecutter, he successfully underwent hip surgery. Once he was up and running on four legs again, Bonecutter said she realized the former street dog had other issues.

“He dug, he barked, he bolted, he chewed things. I named him Artful Dodger after the feisty little street orphan from the book Oliver Twist – I thought it fit his circumstance and his personality.” Bonecutter started a training program to teach Dodger some manners and also give him a job. This led to the discovery of Agility and Dodger’s life occupation. “He has so much fun! Other exhibitors and the judges say how great it is to see a dog ‘grinning’ as he’s running the course.”

The added protection that AKC Canine Partners gives Dodger to protect the former bolter from getting lost – and the insurance in case of an accident or injury – has been invaluable, she said. “I keep an eye on the hip to make sure that we aren’t doing any damage. He’s 6 now so I may have to slow him down soon and that’s when Rally or perhaps Obedience may be an alternative for him. It’s all about him though; if he isn’t having fun then we’ll find something else to do.”

Schaefer agreed that the Canine Partners program offers great peace of mind to dog owners. At the end of Bean’s 60-day complimentary trial of pet health insurance*, she decided to purchase a health plan for Bean. As a full-time student who is working her way through school, she said it is good to know that Bean can receive medical care no matter what. “I haven’t used it yet but it offers the security of knowing that he will be protected even if our household savings are running low,” she said.

For more information on AKC Canine Partners go to If you have questions, email or call 919-816-3749.

* Activation required. Administered by PetPartners, Inc. Underwritten by Markel Insurance Company, 4600 Cox Road, Glen Allen, VA 23060, rated A “Excellent” by A.M. Best Company. Contact Pet Partners, Inc. for terms and conditions. Eligibility restrictions apply. Available to US residents. Not available in New York. Must be activated within 28 days of AKC Certificate Issued date. Visit or call toll free at 1-866-725-2747.

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