Dogs Teach Scouts New Tricks


By The Westbury Times Staff

Cub Scout Troop #233 in Westbury recently got an amazing demonstration of how a highly trained assistance dog can help a person with disabilities. Brian Arnold and his dad, Bill, showed the 20 Scouts how assistance dog Arrow helps him every day by performing tasks like picking up dropped items like a TV remote or cell phone.

ScoutDogs_042314B“They were in awe,” says troop leader Karin Campbell. “They were very excited. I don’t think they ever saw a dog working or were aware of all the things a dog could do.

Arrow was provided to Brian at no cost by Long Island’s Canine Companions for Independence. The Scouts also got to meet Canine Companions volunteer puppy raiser Patti Guglielmo and her 17-month-old dog Martina. Next month, Martina will begin advanced training with Canine Companions instructors, and will learn over 50 commands before she becomes a fully certified assistance dog.

Campbell says bringing in Canine Companions for Independence was a way for troop leaders to bridge the gap between the community and Scouts.

“We’re not able to go on a lot of trips after school or in the evenings because a lot of parents work, so this is our way of bringing the community to the boys,” she said. “We wanted to help the boys understand children with special needs. It was definitely an educational experience.”

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