Judy D'Achille, an East Meadow resident for about 20 years and a volunteer puppy raiser for Canine Companions for Independence (CCI), was one many puppy raisers chosen to march in Monday's Presidential Inaugural Parade.
She said that she and the service dog she raised, Tron, had an unbelievable day.
"It was a once in a lifetime experience," she said. "It was surreal."
D'Achille, a mother of four, said that she became a puppy raiser after she came across a newspaper article.
"I got into it by accident," she said "We were talking about getting a second dog when I read an article about the need for puppy raisers."
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Her organization, CCI, was one of 43 organizations selected to march in the parade out of 2,800 organization applicants. CCI is a nationwide non-profit organization that provides trained assistance dogs for individuals with disabilities other then blindness.
"It was great that the nation recognized us," D'Achille said.
She said that she was honored to be involved in an historic day and that she is grateful that she is able to give back to others.
"There is so much craziness out there and these dogs can help these men in women be who they can be," she said. "I feel good that I can be a part of that."