Boss the service dog
Service dog goes to school in Tryon
TRYON—A Tryon Elementary first-grader is the first student in Polk County Schools to bring a dog to school with him every day.
Jase Scruggs is autistic and now brings his service dog, “Boss” everywhere he goes, even to school.
Boss’ first day at school was Oct. 22, 2020. COVID-19 restrictions stalled the service dog from going to school with Jase for the first couple of months of his first grade year.
Many people in the community helped make Boss a reality for Jase.
The training for Boss took 2 years and he finally came to the Scruggs’ family in June 2020. Boss is a poodle, who was trained specifically to help Jase.
Jase’s mother, Jamie Scruggs, said statistically up to 70 percent of service dog candidates do not make it through training to become service dogs. Trainers started out attempting to train another dog named “Charlie,” but was then blessed with “Boss,” who ended up being a better fit for Jase.
“Before Boss, Jase never would really hug anything or anyone on his own or show affection,” Jamie Scruggs said. “But I’ve caught him on many occasions hugging Boss or petting him and Jase looks for Boss when he’s not around.”
Jamie also says Jase tries to give Boss verbal commands, which helps him with his speech.
Boss helps Jase with many things, including when Jase is upset, Boss will sit beside him or in his lap and apply pressure to try to calm him down. Boss is also trained specifically to find Jase if he ever darts away and Boss and Jase are tethered together so it is harder for Jase to dart away, which keeps him safe.
Jamie said the people who helped them get Boss will never know how much she and her husband Andy Scruggs appreciate what they have done for their son’s life.
K&B Infinity Standards donated Boss to the family; Kim Pack, Patti Lovelave and Donald Hill helped raise funds to train Boss and All Around Dog Training owner Sam Gamez out of Charlotte trained Boss specifically for Jase.
Jamie also said without all the anonymous donors and anonymous people who worked to get donations to make this possible for Jase, Boss could have never happened for him.
“Words cannot express how grateful we are to everyone who helped Jase get his life changing service dog,” Jamie said. “Life is going to be a bumpy road for Jase, but with his best friend Boss by his side, he will get to enjoy things that he would have never gotten to enjoy if Boss had not come into his life.”