Joanie, a two-year-old yellow Labrador retriever, is not your average friendly pooch.
She can turn light switches on and off, according to a release from Canine Companions for Independence, a non-profit provider of trained assistance dogs for children and adults with disabilities.
She can open doors and close them. She can pick up dropped objects.
And since February, she’s been sharing her skills with Thomas Hastings, an 11-year-old boy with special needs, and his family in Windsor, Conn.
“Joanie is a very special dog and we hope to have many wonderful years with her,” Brad Hastings, Thomas’s dad, said in the release.
That’s a sentiment shared by the Mona Overturf, a Williamsburg resident who first met Joanie when she when she was eight weeks old.
Mona Overturf and her husband Jim trained Joanie until she was about 18 months old, teaching her basic commands and socialization until she was ready for advanced training at CCI’s Northeast Regional …