A happy, helicopter-tail wagging, Labrador Retriever. Registered assistance dog with  70+ interactive commands. Three years experience with children and adults in a therapy environment. Comfortable working in individual or group settings.





Work Activities

  • Works with children and adults who are visually impaired, hearing impaired, autistic, orthopedically impaired, developmentally delayed, mentally challenged, emotionally disturbed, brain injured, medically fragile, socially inept and/or with multiple disabilities
  • Works in physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, developmental therapy and school settings
  • Encourages expressive/receptive language, social interaction and play through his “famous” interactive kits
  • Responds to client commands be they verbal, sign,PECsor via an assistive technology devices
  • Uses a variety of assistive technology devices including switches, computer and iPad to speak, sing and play with patients
  • Positions himself and uses toys and equipment to engage his patients in movements encouraging muscle tone, correct posture, and body awareness
  • Increases comfort, security, alertness and attention via his presence and the human-animal bond
  • Facilitates normal movement patterns (balance and locomotion for independent mobility) as he positions himself and interacts next to a variety of patient mobility devices (walkers, wheelchairs, crutches, canes, scooters, wagons, bicycles, etc.)
  • Plays games with patients (Hidn’ Go Seek, Fetch, cards, board games, etc.) encouraging turn taking and other skills be they cognitive, mental, emotional or social
  • Encourages dressing and grooming skills via his dressing coats, dressing kit, toothbrushing and barber shop
  • Encourages hsi patients to become enthusiastic eaters during feeding therapy
  • Works in one-on-one and in group settings
  • Performs in plays, at tea parties for family and celebrates his birthday and other holidays with his patients
  • Plays one of Santa’s Reindogs at Christmas
  • Puts on Parent Workshops designed to empower parents of disabled children
  • Attends community events which support his clients
  • Puts on presentation for schools, groups and civic organizations
  • Conducts workshops and seminars for professionals interested in using dogs in therapy or school settings
  • Supports Canine Companion for Independence Facility dog and Skilled Companion graduates

 Professional Experience

  • Canine Modality Specialist, Dustin’s Paw of Idaho,Kuna,ID2009– present
  • Canine Modaility Specialist, Saint Alphonsus Rehabilitation Services Pediatrics and Jumpstart Clinic,Meridian,ID  2009-present
  • Canine Modality Specialist, Saint Alphonsus Rehabilitation Services Traumatic Brain Injury Clinic, Boise,ID  2009-2010

Professional Activities

Workshops, Seminar and Presentations

  • Selecting and Using Toys, Parent Workshop,Meridian, ID 2011
  • BoiseRotary Club Presentation,Boise,ID  2011
  • Music Magic, Parent Workshops,Meridian,ID  2010, 2011
  • Canine Companion forIndependenceTraining Staff, Empowering Families to Use Their CCI Dogs,Santa Rose,CA 2011
  • State ofIdahoOrder of Eastern Star Presentation,Boise, ID  2011
  • Jumpstart Annual Parent Tea Parties,Meridian,ID  2011, 2010, 2009
  • 3 Performances Jumpstart Players presentTrashyTownfor parents and dignitaries,Meridian,ID  2011
  • Distinguished Citizen of the Year Speaker, Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center,Boise,ID  2011
  • Potty Training, Parent Workshop,Meridian,ID  2011
  • Saint Alphonsus Auxiliary Presentation,Boise,ID  2012, 2011, 2010, 2009
  • BoisePublic SchoolPhysical, Occupational and Speech Therapists Presentation,Meridian,ID  2011
  • STARS/Peds Speech Therapist Computer/Dogs Inservice,Meridian,ID2010
  • Canine Companions forIndependencePuppy Raiser Demo,Meridian, ID  2010
  • Jumpstart Players present The Mitten for parents,Meridian,ID  2009
  • FOX News 12,Meridian, ID  2009
  • BrownMackieCollegePresentation,Boise,ID  2009
  • Cactus Pete’s Presentation, Jackpot, NV  2009
  • Community Partners ofIdahoPresentation,Meridian, ID  2009
  • Craig H. Neilson Foundation Presentation,Boise,ID  2009

Professional Publications

  • Facebook page www.facebook.com/dustinspawidaho   2011
  • Selecting and Using Toys manual 2011
  • Potty Training booklet  2011
  • Jumpstart’s Greatest Hits CD and songbook with Amber Gresham  2010
  • Let’s Have Tea, a computer game and book based on Jumpstart Tea Parties  2010
  • Miraculous Tails, a Dustin’s Paw Newsletter  2010-present
  • Booklet on how dogs are used in rehabilitation therapy for Dr. Shilt, Spasticity Clinic, St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center  2010
  • Dustin’s Paw Dogs and Infection Control Policies and Procedures  2009
  • The Mitten, a computer game for children based on play performance  2009
  • Created www.dustinspaw.org   2009-2011

Grants Received

  • Saint Alphonsus Auxiliary Grant    2011, 2010, 2009
  • Primary Beneficiary of Albertsons Boise Open  September 2009
  • Ameristar/Cactus Pete’s/Craig H. Neilson Foundation Grants  2009


  • FOX New 12  2009
  • Welcome Prairie Party 2009
  • Keeping Touch, Saint Alphonsus publication  2009


  • Saint Alphonus Rehabilitation Services Clinical Outcomes  2009-present

Community Involvement

  • Canine Companions for Independence Idaho Chapter  2011-present
  • Sam Hartz Memorial Golf Tournament  2011
  • Kuna Days Parade  2010-2011
  • Saint Alpohnsus Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit Reunion, Christmas Party  2010
  • Buddy Walk, Idaho Downs Syndrome Association  2009-present
  • Saint Alphonsus Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit Santa and His Reindogs Visit  2009-present
  • Capitol Classic, Saint Alphonosus Foundation  2009—present
  • March for Babies, March of Dimes  2009-present

Professional Education

  • Canine Companion forIndependenceGraduate Seminar  2009


  • Bred by Canine Companions forIndependenceto be an assistance dog, parents Naisen and Koala II  2007
  • Raised by Kathy Zastrow ofEl Dorado Hill,CA2007-2008
  • Trained at Canine Companions forIndependence,Santa Rosa,CAby Shelly Dickinson  Nov 2008-April 2009
  • Graduate Side Placement by Lauren Rignel, CCI NW Graduate Program Manager, with Diane Rampelberg, Kuna, ID  April 13, 2009
  • Additional training with Diane 2004-Present


  • Meeting people
  • Eating most anything
  • Getting back scratched at tail junction
  • Sleeping in his chair
  • Roughhousing
  • Playing with other dogs
  • His BIG stuffed dog, a gift from puppy raiser, Kathy Zastrow

Professional Standards

  • Maintains high professional standards of health, cleanliness, social interaction and discipline
  • Neutered which benefits both his behavior and health
  • Toilets on command in a discreet area, droppings are immediately cleanup by his handler
  • Vaccinations are up-to-date
  • Regular health care and exams from Dr. Brett Bingham,IntermountainPetHospital
  • Monthly heartgard
  • Bathed regularly and brushed daily
  • Infection Control Policies and Procedures are in place
  • Approved to work by Saint Alphonsus Rehabilitation Services and hospital
  • Assistance Dog International Testing every three years, currect certification 2014


Tiffany Dean and Diann Davis-Martin
STARS Pediatrics and Jumpstart
179 SW 5th Avenue
Meridian,ID 83642
(208) 367-8282

Dr. Craig Jussell
Saint Alphonsus Rehabilitation Services
901 N. Curtis Road, Ste. 204
Boise,ID 83706
(208) 367-3351

Ron and Sara Gambassi
5141 N. Capson Avenue
Boise,ID 83704
(208) 890-5680

Melody Dean
1873W. Whiff Drive
Eagle,ID 83616
(208) 859-1232

Amber R. Myrick, LL.M, P.A.
3101 W. Main St. Suite 200
Boise, ID 83702
(208) 344-8600

Ken and Tessa O’Donnell
2950 N. Blue Springs Avenue
Meridian,ID 83646
(208) 447-9505

Lauren Rignel
NW Region Program Manger/Instructor
Canine Companions forIndependence
P.O. Box 446
Santa Rosa, CA 95402-0446
(707) 577-1798