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Pins for Pups bowling event to raise money for Canine Companions for Independence

Posted at 3:43 PM, Nov 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-06 17:43:13-05

The "Pins for Pups" fundraiser happening Saturday Nov. 11 at Westy's Garden Lanes in Garden City will raise money for Canine Companions for Independence. 

The non-profit matches people with disabilities to highly trained assistance dogs. Dogs are trained to assist veterans, those with mobility issues and the hearing impaired with daily tasks. 

The dogs can flip a light switch, pick items off the floor and they can bowl.

"One of the commands they're taught is a push command, and they use their push command to bowl," CCIdaho Chapter President Denise Kimpson said. 

Aaliyah Gaines, 13, has had her companion dog, Elora, since July 2017. 

Though Elora is probably a better bowler than most humans, her skills on the lanes are not the most important to Aaliyah.

Aaliah's mom, Gisela Jimenez, says having Elora in their lives has been a blessing.

Aaliah was able to bowl at a friend's birthday party. At a recent middle school dance, Aaliah and Elora were the stars of the show. 

"The kids were attracted to her because they're like, 'Oh! You brought your dog!" Jimenez said. 

While Elora brings smiles and attention in public, Jimenez says it's what happens back at home that means the most.

"In the mornings... they're laying together and Aaliyah is, like, hugging her and telling her how she loves her and she's her very best friend; that just makes my day," Jimenez said. "Just to see that, I wouldn't change it for anything in the world."

Registration for Pins for Pups is still open. Assistance dogs will be at the event showing their off their skills.