Pairing Service Dogs With Those in Need

As our regular blog readers know, NARA recently launched a quarterly podcast, The Invisible Industry, where we discuss and educate on all things rendering.


In our newest episode, aired on January 22, we interview staff from Canine Companions to talk about the great work they do to pair service dogs with those in need, and discuss NARA’s longtime partnership with the non-profit organization.


For this important conversation, host Marcus Wintzer, and episode co-host, Richard Weeks, welcomed Eli Gerard, an Instructor at Canine Companions’ Southwest Region to the show, as well as NARA’s longtime Meeting Manager and consultant, Marty Covert (who has been with the association for over 28 years and was the one to suggest the partnership).


During the episode Marty explains how the relationship between NARA and Canine Companions got started, and Eli discusses what Canine Companions does, and how the term “companion” barely scratches the surface of how critical and beloved these dogs are to their owners.


“Canine companions is a non-profit organization that provides expertly trained service dogs to adults, children and veterans with disabilities. We provide these dogs free of charge and provide lifetime support for our clientele. Companion’s is in the name, but these dogs are much more than that, as they perform practical tasks for people with disabilities.” -Eli Gerard


He also details the types of clients the organization services, what the dogs’ “main jobs are, and the entire training and service process –  from the time the dogs are puppies, to when they are retired (and can relax and live as a house pet!).


Eli also recounts some of his favorite stories and experiences during his work at Canine Companions (get a tissue ready!). If you would like to view the video version of the podcast to see photos from these stories, and others, we recommend checking out NARA’s YouTube page where all episodes of The Invisible Industry can be found.


Watch The Episode HERE


You can also subscribe to The Invisible Industry podcast on Spotify and Amazon Music, and be sure to follow us on social media (Facebook Twitter) for updates on our new episodes!


If you have a topic you would like to see us cover in a future episode, email NARA Communications Director, Anna Wilkinson, at


To learn more about Canine Companions, or to inquire about a service dog for yourself or a loved one, please visit


NARA would again like to thank guests Eli Gerard and Marty Covert, our host Marcus Wintzer, and this episode’s co-host Richard Weeks for joining us for such an important and emotional episode.

The North American Renderers Association (NARA) is an Equal Opportunity Employer. It does not discriminate in the terms and conditions of employment on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other factor prohibited by law.

As a participant in USDA programs, we share the commitment to comply with all federal, state and local civil rights laws and those of the USDA. More about this commitment is available on the USDA website page here.