Diplomatic Service Dog Opens Doors in Cuba and Fetches Cuban Student
Bergin University of Canine Studies Project Fidelity promotes International relations by awarding a scholarship to a Cuban student.
Bergin University of Canine Studies (BUCS) is the only fully accredited college in the world that offers degrees in Canine Life Sciences. Cuban scholarship recipient Beatriz Amparo Labrador de la Osa has arrived at the Rohnert Park, Ca. campus. She has dreams of returning to Cuba and working to better the lives of the disabled by introducing the Assistance Dog concept in her native country. Beatriz fondly recalls Booster, the yellow Labrador retriever Service Dog who travelled to Cuba twice in recent years to demonstrate what he can do to help people. Booster travelled to Havana, Cuba as an ambassador for BUCS Master’s student Davis Hawn‘s Project Fidelity.
According to Hawn, “My Project Fidelity sought to project fidelity between two Cold War adversaries utilizing my Service Dog Booster to prove my thesis that dogs are a social lubricant. With International help of Canadians and Bahamians we ventured into Cuba not speaking a word of Spanish. Booster was so successful that we met myriad leaders of organizations for the disabled. Booster removed the socks from a paralyzed man’s feet and we later appeared together on live educational television in Havana! The International relations spawned by my dog and a canine related education opened doors of enlightenment that I never previously envisioned. My life began at Bergin University.”
“In recognition of the warm Cuban reception we received I offered a scholarship for a Cuban dog lover to come to the U.S. to learn to train Assistance Dogs. The Cuban animal welfare association ANIPLANT introduced me to Beatriz. I was instantly impressed by her overwhelming love of dogs. She is currently attending BUCS’ classes under the tutelage of Dr. Bonita Bergin the founder of the Service Dog concept and Canine Companions for Independence (CCI). Beatriz plans to open the first Assistance Dog training facility in Cuba and aptly name it The Booster Center in honor of my now cancer stricken dog Booster. I am so honored. I welcome any inquiries about my Project Fidelity and BUCS related educational experiences.”
“None of this would have been possible without the International help of Canadians and Bahamians. A Canadian firm, Cuba Education Tours arranged many important meetings. Bahamasair flew me with Booster at my feet into Havana and as a direct result Bahamasair now accommodates Assistance Dogs on all flights. When I fell in love with a homeless Cuban street dog, Canadian airline Airtransat flew him to Toronto free of charge. The little dog is Booster’s step-brother and his name is Fidelity! My experience with both has created life-changing passion. “
Bergin University of Canine Studies attracts students from all over the world. Historically, students have come from 16 countries seeking a canine related education. They aspire to implement canine related programs in their native countries. BUCS faculty, staff and students work together to create novel programs utilizing canines to help humans. For example, the BUCS program Paws for Purple Hearts teaches war veterans to train dogs for other disabled veterans in order to help them reintegrate into society when they return home. Anyone interested in attending classes, lending a hand, or donating is encouraged to contact the university.