49ers Dogging It for Charity

Now this is a dog lovers kind of photo shoot

By Joe Kukura
|  Monday, Aug 10, 2009  |  Updated 4:15 PM PDT
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Canine Companions

Alex Smith doesn't look too concerned about who is the starting quarterback in this picture. That's the great thing about dogs: they take your worries away.

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Want another reason to support your theory that Michael Vick won't be playing for the San Francisco 49ers anytime soon? Take a look at what a bunch of dog lovers these 49ers are, having just released a "puppy calendar" for charity featuring your favorite 49ers posing with pooches training to be guide dogs for the disabled.

The calendars benefit Canine Companions for Independence, a non-profit providing guide dogs to the disabled and military veterans -- free of charge. Established in Santa Rosa in 1975, CCI is now the largest dog assistance organization in the world and has placed free guide dogs with more than 3,000 individuals.

Niners Nation has a few remarks from a CCI puppy raiser, and from 49ers placekicker Joe Nedney. Nedney is the dog-loving instigator of this project, and his dog Pepper was trained through CCI. "To see what that organization does as far as helping people with disabilities," Nedney told Niners Nation, "We decided to kind of become involved.  With our platform as members of the 49ers, we were able to get a bunch of guys together and take pictures with their dogs and some CCI dogs, really just to help out Canine Companions for Independence and kind of spread the word about what they do.  It’s as simple as that."

The cover features Parys Haralson holding two puppies. One is licking the other's face. Awwww! Nedney, Coach Singletary, Nate Clements, and other 49ers also pose with CCI guide dogs in the calendar.

These 16-month 2009-2010 calendars can be ordered online, and all of your $10 cost all goes directly to financing the training of guide dogs for the disabled. You won't find many better percentages than that when buying charity merchandise.

And you won't find Michael Vick on this calendar. 

Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who thinks "puppy raiser" sounds like a pretty awesome job title.

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