Greencastle Lions welcome puppy raiser

Staff Writer
Echo Pilot
Greencastle Lions Club president Joel Leckron with Emily Miller and Bondi, Leader Dog School for the Blind, animal.

The Greencastle Lions Club held its Aug. 25 meeting at Tayamentasachta Environmental Center.  President Joel Leckron welcomed members and guests. Special guests included Brandon Thrush, scholarship winner for this year, and his parents, Robert and Diana Thrush.

Also in attendance was Emily Miller and her mother, Ann, and Emily’s Leader Dog puppy in training, Bondi, a lab retriever. Emily lives in Chambersburg and is a sophomore at Chambersburg Area Senior High School. Emily decided to become a puppy raiser to earn her Gold Award in Girl Scouts. She provided club members information about being a puppy raiser for Leader Dog School for the Blind, located in Rochester, Mich. Her family picked the puppy up last August and will be taking her back at the end of September. Emily decided to name the puppy Bondi, after the famous beach in Australia, which she had visited last summer.

Emily and her family provided training in basic house manners for Bondi and also took her to obedience school. They provided her with socialization and taught good etiquette when traveling with her in the community. Bondi was also acclimated to being around other dogs and animals. When Bondi is returned, the family will be picking up another puppy to raise.

Leader Dog School for the Blind was started by three Lions in 1939. Since that time 14,000 dogs have been trained and provided to individuals who are legally blind. Leader Dog is the only school which also provides training for individuals who are deaf and blind. When the dogs are returned to Leader Dog, they go through four months of extensive training and health tests to determine if they will become a Guide Dog. Students are trained onsite for 26 days. Dogs are matched up to students based on need and personality. The student only needs to pay for transportation costs to and from the school. There is no charge for training or for the dog.  Orientation, mobility training, GPS training, youth summer camps and training for professionals are also provided by Leader Dog.

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Greencastle Lions will be holding White Cane Day Friday, Oct. 14.  Members visited the Rouzerville Lions Club Tuesday, Sept. 6.  

For more information about this active community service organization, contact Membership Chair Joann Williams at 375-2425.