Serving Those Who Serve puppy Zipper gets donation to help with training

DENVER -- It really was unexpected icing on the cake for Highlands Ranch resident John Compton and family. They hosted a visit with Zipper the service dog-in-training chocolate Labrador.

Compton has been faithfully following Zipper's journey to becoming a full-fledged service dog with Freedom Service Dogs of America.

Zipper's story, and what the dog will be doing upon graduation, touched Compton's heart.

"Dogs just have this calming ability about them. I think that's one of the special things about Zipper and what he's going on to do," Compton said.

Zipper has the qualities that can make him a great service dog. But he's still a pup and needs specialized training. That costs money, and Compton knows that.

He had an idea.

"Hey, let's fund raise for this, for Zipper. And not only for Zipper, but the cause and what Zipper means in the big scheme of things," Compton said.

Compton started the ball rolling by donating $500. That's a lot of dog chow. A funding page has been set up for Zipper.

Erin Conley with Freedom Service Dogs of America said Zipper's training will cost a little more than $30,000. One-hundred percent of Zipper's training will come from donations.

"That really helps us achieve our mission. And frankly, it's the only way to achieve our mission," Conley said.

Zipper's journey continues, and with the help from guys like Compton, this pup is off to a pretty good start.

Follow Zipper's progress on on Twitter @ZipperTweets and on Facebook.

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