Therapy dog leaves behind lasting legacy

Posted at 10:27 PM, Jun 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-27 22:27:35-04

Telemachus and Tenshi are pros at making people feel better. Seriously, it's their job. The dog’s owners volunteer their time at The Lee Gross Anthone Child Advocacy Center in Buffalo.

The center helps a thousand abused children every year in Erie County. The dogs there provide relief for those children when they're telling their stories.

“They have to tell about the worst thing that ever happened to them in front of a room of strangers but they have their dog to keep them safe,” said Day Cummings. She’s a clinical social worker with the Child Advocacy Center.

Dogs in Erie County have been providing courtroom comfort for five years. Argos, a 12-year-old English Labrador Retriever was a key player in making the program a success.

“He was our first dog trained. He was our first dog to work with children,” said Cummings.

Argos and Telemachus not only share Greek names, but an owner, Andrew Skolnick. 

“I live for this,” said Skolnick.

His heart swells knowing the service his dogs provide.

“I feel so good. But, I can't tell you how much, it's off the scale,” added Skolnick.

This past month, the champion of the program, Argos, became too ill to help others. He died.

“He was one in a million,” said Skolnick.

“The hardest people this was for were the children who worked with Argos,” said Cummings.

Now, a half dozen dogs volunteer at the Child Advocacy Center, and more are expected to in the future.

It's comfort the dogs provide and it's a legacy of comfort Argos leaves behind