Magazine Article



"Jon and Snuggy"

     Hi, my name is Jonathan Lesniowski. I have a lovely, great supportive wife and three children. In 2002, I  became permanently disabled and  had to retire from being a Locomotive Engineer. Since than I had 6 major surgeries. Mostly fusions to my spine. I also have a nerve injury called RSD/CRPS, along with a host of other problems. In spring of 2009, I was implanted with a spinal cord stimulator. I had several decisions to make about my emotional and physical difficulties. We then decided to seek out and train a multi-service dog. To try and help give me back some independence that I desperately needed. We soon found an Akita puppy who we named "Snuggy," and is now 8 months old.
    Much to our surprise there were no training facilities around Erie County. Until we heard about Canine Helpers. We soon contacted Beverly Underwood to see what we would need to do. Canine Helpers soon put Snuggy and I into a training program. Not only has it helped bond Snuggy and I into a team, but it also helped bring my family closer together. My oldest daughter loves it so much, she now even volunteers at C.H. to help out. Not only has Snuggy improved with obedience training. She also helps me get out to due things that I never thought were possible again. Snuggy will eventually be trained to get help in case of an emergency, carry a back pack with essentials, pick up my cane, pull me up, and help stabilize me when I walk.
    Our long term goal is to volunteer at Hospice and Children's Hospital. So Snuggy and I can be a light to those in need as a Canine Therapy Team. Thank you Canine Helpers for believing in us. I also want to give a special Thanks to my Lord and Savior Jesus Crist. " Through him and in him all things are possible who believe." Mark 9:23