Webelos scouts from the Black Cat Patrol and the Raven Patrol were treated to an impressive presentation of service dogs from the Custom Canines Service Dog Academy on Sunday at the Scout House.
Scouts learned about highly-trained dogs who help people with physical disabilities. They also learned about the personal stories of the presenters, Custom Canines President Nicole Meadowcroft and Outreach and Community Education Specialist Frank Lopez. Nicole demonstrated the unique skills of her guide dog, Snickers, while Frank shared the special talents of his guide dog, Nolan. They each stressed the personal relationship they have with their amazing dogs, who can range from $25,000 to $80,000, depending upon their training.
Nicole attended DeForest High School and learned at that time she had a condition called retinitis pigmentosa that affected her peripheral vision and has since reduced her vision to “seeing through a pinhole”. This sparked her passion to help others in need to enjoy the love and selfless service of a highly-trained dog. Custom Canines was born from this dream. They are a small organization made entirely of volunteers trying to make a difference. If you are interested in making a tax-deductible donation to this community-supported 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization, please visit customcanines.org.
Below are photos from the presentation at the Scout House, including the boys trying out a cane for the visually impaired and seeing what it’s like to follow the lead of a guide dog as Frank took on the role of the guide dog. Also, there’s a short video where Frank demonstrates how his dog Nolan is able to guide him to grocery items at the store on verbal commands only… amazing!