New Castle News


April 8, 2013

‘He has given me a life’: Vietnam veteran finds stability, friendship in service dog



David, a diehard Pittsburgh Steelers fan, knew that his new service dog would be named Lambert after former Steeler Jack Lambert before he even was born. As he began his search, David sought out the help of Jeff Woods, president and trainer at Misty Pines Dog Park in Franklin Park Borough, near Wexford.

The two sought out a breeder of Labradors in Cranberry Township and went in separately to survey what was available.

“We both picked the same puppy,” David said. “He was a cute little rascal, eight weeks old and the runt of the litter. There was just something about him that called to me. As soon as I saw him, I knew that was my dog.”

Woods agreed, for slightly different reasons.

“Most service dogs are Labrador Retrievers,” he said. “You are looking for a calm dog with a lot of intelligence so he is highly trainable. Lambert had puppy energy, but he was attentive and alert.

“Not every dog makes a good service dog,” Woods added. “Quite often, a dog starts out in training and doesn’t make the cut.”


At 12 weeks old, Lambert was enrolled in  his first puppy class at Misty Pines. First, Lambert had to attend Canine Good Citizen training, where he learned simple commands such as “sit,” “stay” and “come.”

Lambert later became certified with Therapy Dog International, where he received credentials and a vest to accompany David anywhere he goes, such as stores, malls, restaurants and Veterans Administration hospitals in Butler and Pittsburgh, which he visits for both treatment and camaraderie.

“There are 70 people at the Butler VA who know Lambert’s name,” David said, “but I doubt that any of them know mine.

“He’s a big ham,” he added. “He picks up the entire place as soon as he walks in the door.”

Lambert is trained to go up and down escalators and through revolving doors.

“I can leave him at the door of a store, tell him to stay and he will be there when I come back,” David said. “He would wait all day if need be.”

Although Lambert wears his vest when he is “working,” Lambert occasionally takes it off at the Butler VA so that residents can interact with him.

“When he has the vest on, no one can pet him except for me,” David said. “The VA is the one place where I will take it off of him that he can get some attention.”

Otherwise, Lambert lays at his master’s feet. His gaze never leaves David’s face.

“He stares at me, it is very noticeable,” David said. “He makes sure I’m OK and keeps me calm and focused. When I am out with Lambert, people focus on him rather than me and that is a good situation for me.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • accountant.jpg DeLorenzo’s status with authority unchanged

    Deno DeLorenzo’s status as a contract employee with the New Castle Sanitation Authority remains unchanged. Authority board members met with DeLorenzo last week regarding an investigation by the Lawrence County district attorney’s office involving Shenango Township funds.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Shooting.jpg Detroit area man dies in Ellwood City gunfire

    A triple shooting in an Ellwood City street has claimed the life of a Detroit area man. Gunfire erupted in the middle of Loop Street outside the Walnut Ridge housing project around 10:20 p.m. Sunday, according to state police.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Baptism1.jpg Dipped downtown

    John the Baptist identified himself as “the voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord.’ ” On Saturday, local evangelist Randy Crum once again took a cue from the son of Elizabeth and Zechariah, eschewing the locusts and honey that John was known to munch on but heading out into the wilds to baptize believers and challenge them to share their faith with their community.

    July 21, 2014 3 Photos

  • lamancusa.jpg Tanner, district attorney: No comment

    The Lawrence County District Attorney is keeping mum about a probe into finances in Shenango Township. “We don’t talk about ongoing investigations,” Lamancusa said Friday.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo 5 Stories

  • Shenango1.jpg Shenango Township: Supervisors fire Tanner, release DeLorenzo

    The Shenango supervisors fired township secretary/treasurer Brian Tanner and terminated auditor and consultant Deno DeLorenzo last night.

    July 18, 2014 3 Photos 4 Stories

  • gavel.jpg Shenango to take action on Tanner, DeLorenzo

    Shenango’s supervisors will act Thursday night on the employment contracts of two men being investigated for possible theft of township funds.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo 4 Stories

  • money.jpg Shenango computers, financial papers seized

    Investigators have seized computers and a host of financial paperwork from the Shenango Township Municipal Building.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo 3 Stories

  • money.jpg Second warrant issued in Shenango Township finances probe

    The home office of Shenango Township’s secretary/treasurer is the subject of a search warrant. A warrant was approved allowing investigators from the Lawrence County district attorney’s office to search Brian Tanner’s home office at 658 Melody Lane Extension in Shenango and seize all computers and computer records.

    July 15, 2014 1 Photo 2 Stories

  • Our Opinion: Who’s watching the money in Shenango Township?

    The Shenango Township supervisors have some explaining to do. And that’s putting it mildly.

    July 15, 2014 1 Story

  • Shenango places Tanner on leave, schedules meeting

    The Shenango Township supervisors have placed their secretary/treasurer on leave. In a statement faxed late Monday afternoon to the New Castle News, the supervisors said Brian Tanner had been placed on “administrative leave” as the result of a search warrant served on the township municipal building Friday.

    July 15, 2014

House Ads

Have you held or will you hold a garage/yard sale this year?

I have and it was a success! It's a great way to get rid of some junk and make a little extra pocket money.
I have, but it didn't go over so well. Better luck next time?
I haven't yet, but I plan to.
I haven't and I don't plan to. It's not for me.
     View Results