Their little paws and happy faces have graced California Casualty for close to 15 years. They are the service dogs who temporarily call California Casualty home before heading off to become service animals for those with various disabilities.

Three of our employees are puppy trainers for Canine Companions for Independence, a nonprofit that provides service dogs for adults with physical disabilities, hearing issues, physical, cognitive and development disabilities, or for therapy in a visitation, education or healthcare setting.

If you have a pet-friend at home or work, you know how much joy and fun they bring. That’s how it is at California Casualty.

Each dog spends the first year-and-a-half of their life with a trainer getting socialized, learning commands and dealing with distractions. California Casualty, with a large number of employees with varying schedules and personalities, is the perfect place for their education, and the company encourages it.

While there have been as many as four pups roaming our hallways, there is currently only one – Darien, being raised and trained by Mary, one of our claims representatives. Darien is a year-old golden lab. He’s the 18th puppy that Mary has taken in.

She and her husband share a love of animals and a desire to give back to the community. Canine Companions was the perfect way to fit volunteering into their busy schedules.

The training has left a permanent bond between Mary and the pups. Mary keeps in touch with every dog, and each one remembers her when she visits, even a decade later.

Many people at work can’t wait to play with and puppy-sit Darien. One of those is Jasmine, who is convinced that spending time with Darien helps her as much as it helps him. “Darien makes me happy and makes my day go better,” she said.

Mary said that Darien is so popular that she often has to search to find where he has gone at various times of the day. “I know that many of my co-workers think Darien is a therapy dog for them, reducing stress and bringing joy to their day. They often come to my desk to give him pets when they are having a challenging day, saying how much it helps.”

Karen, the manager of our Learning and Development department, is another volunteer for Canine Companions. While raising puppies to go to others takes an emotional toll, she said it’s worth it knowing the joy and independence they give to those with physical disabilities.

We love the dogs that are fostered within our company walls, and we look forward to the pitter-patter of little paws and the boundless love when new ones arrive.


Learn more about Canine Companions and their dedication to helping others at

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