#flatpreston is making the rounds!

#flatpreston wants

Preston is Chapel Haven’s facility dog and he’s been traveling all around the country!

He even spent time in a newsroom, with Sarah Cody! See her story on WTNH-News Channel 8 here

Preston loves his life at Chapel Haven but lately, he’s having a little wanderlust!

While many students are still on campus in a social distancing mode at Chapel Haven, other adults are home with their families still in quarantine. Preston misses everybody, so he’s ready to go traveling!

So this summer, we invite you to have #flatpreston pay you a visit! Preston even made a video to tell you about our project – you can check that out here.

If you would like us to send you #FlatPreston, please complete this easy form

#flatpreston has already popped up at Cape Canaveral, at high school graduations, on walks and even on a flight lesson!

Once you receive #flatpreston, you are free to color him in, cut him out and take him along with you during your day and your activities. Have a friend or family member take a photo of you with #flatpreston and share on your social media. Be sure to use our hashtags – #flatpreston #chscstrong #togetherapart

And send a photo of you with #flatpreston to cdecarlo@chapelhaven.org so we can track where Preston is traveling and showcase your design!

Thanks to Tina Menchetti, Danielle Drazen and Marissa Witkovsky-Elder for helping with this fun project!

About Preston:

Preston is a two year old golden retriever/Labrador cross who came to Chapel Haven Schleifer Center in April after graduating from “puppy college” through Canine Companions for Independence, http://www.cci.org, the largest non-profit provider of assistance dogs in the United States.

REACH Teacher Danielle Drazen is Preston’s handler and she brings a lot of expertise to the task. She has raised seven puppies for the organization.

Danielle brings Preston to campus each day and he has quickly become a treasured part of the everyday life for the REACH students.

Preston helps students with a variety of day-to-day tasks. He joins various classes, helps out when the students are walking to the bank or CVS and provides a comforting nudge if a student is having a bad day. He’s able to open doors, drawers, retrieve objects and even help students while they’re completing a transaction.

Sarah Cody and Mike Piskorski from News Channel 8 had fun “interviewing” Preston

Preston has been interviewed, including by Sarah Cody at WTNH News Channel 8 – see that story here: https://www.wtnh.com/on-air/connecticut-families/preston-the-dog-warms-hearts-while-helping-young-adults-with-disabilities-learn-life-skills/

He was also featured in the New Haven Register, by reporter Pam McLaughlin. Read that story here: https://www.ctinsider.com/news/nhregister/article/Dog-aces-gig-teaching-independent-living-skills-14902937.php?cmpid=gsa-nhregister-result&_ga=2.122222473.321944209.1591018625-1166602435.1591018625

Preston was provided free of charge by Canine Companions for Independence.

Here’s what the students say about their treasured companion:

James: “Preston always brings a smile to my face.”

Marcus: “He has helped me with my money. I think it is important to have Preston at Chapel Haven because he helps a lot of people.”

Rhys: “Preston is a really good boy and he is really helpful during our social plans. He’s really funny and he likes picking names for our Reach for the Stars challenges. He helps me look both ways when walking.”

For more information about Canine Companions:

John Bentzinger, Public Relations and Marketing Coordinator jbentzinger@cci.org, Canine Companions for Independent, Northeast Region

www.cci.org