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Local Kiwanis Club inducts Kole the 'surfing dog' as Honorary Kiwanian

 

Last updated 3/22/2018 at 9:42am

Shane Gibson

Service dog Kole attends a ceremony during the Temecula Kiwanis Club of Temecula Valley's Wine Social at Cougar Winery for his induction to the club, March 18.

TEMECULA – The Kiwanis Club of Temecula Valley held a special ceremony Sunday, March 18, to induct Kole Presnillo as Honorary Kiwanian during the Kiwanis Division 37 Wine Social at the Cougar Winery, according to Club President Tom Teagle.

"While it may not seem unusual to induct an Honorary Member to a service club, you have to understand that Kole is quite unusual, indeed," Teagle said. "You see, Kole is an 8-year-old black Labrador retriever."

Teagle said he thinks that Kole is the first-ever Honorary Kiwanian canine throughout the entire international organization, which is comprised of more than 8,000 clubs located in over 80 countries worldwide. Kole is not going to be a mascot, but will be a true member of the Kiwanis Club of Temecula Valley.

According to Ed Presnillo, Kole's owner and trainer, Kole is a very talented canine.

"Capitalizing on his love to retrieve, I have trained Kole to recycle cans, plastic bottles, boxes and newspapers," Presnillo said. "We have a recycle bin in the garage, and on walks, he will retrieve recyclables on command. 

"He has also been trained to assist around the house to carry groceries from the car to the kitchen, retrieve my wallet, watch, mobile phone, belt, shoes, car keys, eye glasses and the list goes on from there." 

Most recently, Kole has helped Kiwanians with Salvation Army bell ringing and donation collection at the local Wal-Mart during the holidays and has helped raise nearly $1,000 for the benefit of Rady Children's Hospital of San Diego.

"Kole is an absolute donation magnet," Teagle said. "Kids and the ladies in particular love to pet and talk to Kole, who holds a special canister in his mouth that they drop their donations in. Some ask to have their picture taken with him.

"With Ed's help, Kole has already proven himself to be of value to our club's fundraising activities, and we fully expect him to play a vital role in our membership recruitment efforts, as well," Teagle said.

According to Presnillo, who is a Navy veteran, Kole is his personal service dog, as well as his companion.

"Being a Navy veteran, I realize that I have anxiety issues when I misplace my personal belongings," Presnillio said.  "I tell Kole to find what I'm looking for, and he finds it, which calms me considerably." 

Shane Gibson

Kiwanis members induct service dog Kole as a club member at Cougar Winery, March 18.

In addition, Kole is also a "surfing veteran" going into his third year. In his first year, he placed third behind two of the top surfdogs in Southern California. This year, Presnillo said Kole will put in more practice time and may pair with another surfing dog, a White Westie named Tristan, forming "Team Oreo."

The induction ceremony for Kole Presnillo into the Kiwanis Club of Temecula Valley was a very special event attended by more than 50 Division 37 Kiwanians from several clubs, including Randy Ortlieb, lieutenant governor of the division, and his wife Susan.

"Cougar Winery was the perfect location to hold this special. event," Teagle said. "They have a terrific view of wine country, the people who work there are just fantastic, and the wine, of course, is excellent."

For information about the Kiwanis Club of Temecula Valley, visit http://www.kiwanistv.org or call Lynn Effinger at (951) 514-5699.

 

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