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Why Canine Partners For Life’s Darlene Sullivan Loves the Main Line


Darlene Sullivan, Cochranville 

Executive Director and Founder, Canine Partners for Life

Darlene Sullivan’s life has gone to the dogs—and she couldn’t be happier about it. Twenty-five years ago, she turned her love of animals into Canine Partners for Life, an organization that trains service and companion dogs to aid people who have various disabilities and diseases—many of them on the autism spectrum. So far, Canine Partners for Life has placed dogs in 45 different states, and Sullivan, who suffers from chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia, is currently living with her third.

(From Left:) The Whip Tavern, the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair

Cochranville’s best-kept secret: There really isn’t one. I live in rural America, where we have one traffic light, a post office and a pizza joint. But the food is wonderful at the Whip Tavern, which is about five minutes away from me. 

Favorite place for date night: Pietro’s Prime Steakhouse & Seafood in West Chester

Favorite event on the Main Line: The Devon Horse Show and Country Fair. It’s an annual tradition for my family. One of my dreams was to ride in it, which I did in my high-school years. The experience was truly mind-blowing. 

(From left:) Nudy’s Cafe in Devon and Color Me Mine in Wayne

Best local restaurant: I love going out for breakfast, and my favorite place is Nudy’s Cafe in Devon. I’ll order anything on the menu—it’s all fantastic

Where she works out: I practice tai chi at Spirit of Yoga in Downingtown. My dog mostly gets his exercise by running around our two-acre backyard. But if I had to pick a place for him to exercise, I’d have to say Fit For A Dog in Ardmore. It’s a doggie daycare, boarding and rehabilitation facility with a pool for dogs. 

Where she shops: I’m a Whole Foods addict. For my dog, it’s Concord Pet Foods & Supplies. 

Favorite place for family fun: A pottery-painting place called Color Me Mine in Wayne. I used to go there with my son, who’s now 24. When I have grandkids, that’s where we’ll be. 

Best chance of getting stuck in traffic: Route 30 from Wayne to Villanova is crazy.

If she had 30 minutes to herself, she would: Be in the garden, cuddling with my service dog, or practicing tai chi. 

The most unique thing about the Main Line: The [geographic] diversity. In my town, there are endless open roads and land. Then, I’ll come up to the Main Line, and the roads are busy, and the sidewalks are filled with restaurants and stores. There’s always
so much to do.