By Starla Pointer • Staff Writer • 

Y-C grad raising money for service dog

He still needs about $245 by the end of June to reach his goal of $800. The money will pay for a puppy to train in a two-year service dog program.

“A dog will help me immensely,” said Lebsock, 21, who is paraplegic due to complications associated with premature birth.

The service dog will help him undress, turn light switches on and off, and pick up things he drops, he said. “There are so many different things you can teach dogs to do,” he said.

In addition, the service dog will monitor him for seizures. When a seizure happens, the dog will run for help.

Lebsock has been researching service dog programs for a couple years. He’s been through the extensive process of qualifying. Now he’s starting his own part of the training program, which he’s enjoying. “It’s like going to school, and I love school,” he said.

All he needs is the dog.

With the expectation that he’ll raise enough money, his instructor has started looking for just the right puppy. Lebsock is hoping for a golden retriever. “They’re really smart, and big enough to do what I need,” he said.

The program he’s in, Sunstone Service Dogs, is a little different from some service dog programs. Instead of working with a dog raised by someone else, Lebsock will raise it himself.

He and the dog will train together throughout the two year program. They’ll spend most weekends training at a site in Beaverton, with regular community field trips to get the dogs used to working in a variety of circumstances.

“That’s special to me, to get to spend the whole time with the dog,” said Lebsock, who lives outside McMinnville with his parents, Randy and Debbie Burdick.

His mother has been helping with fundraising, he said. He also has been raising awareness through a Facebook page, which can be found at “Shelby service dog adventure.”

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