This semester, ASU students are teaching 11 dogs to become service animals.
September 13, 2016
Raising these puppies to be service dogs is hard but rewarding for ASU students.
It's a tail of 10 ASU students, 11 dogs working together to help others.
September 13, 2016
“A lot of people know who you are, and everyone wants to be your friend,” she said of dorm life with a dog. “But it was good because there are always people around who will watch him for me.”
Jordan Patterson, a junior mechanical engineering major, said her dog, Ulani, draws a lot of attention on campus. “It’s fun, but sometimes you have to tell people not to pet her because she’s working.”
Randle said that being among the crowds on campus is very stimulating for the dogs, but they settle quickly in the classroom.
“They lay under the desk or behind you, and they sleep through the whole class,” Randle said.
Several times a day, the raisers have to stop what they’re doing to spend 10 minutes or so training their puppies in basic obedience as well as behaviors such as opening and closing doors. The students also take the dogs to weekly and monthly trainings and evaluations.
After their time with the raisers, the dogs get specialized training according to aptitude and then are placed by Power Paws with a person who needs an assistance dog.
“Kristoff refuses to retrieve anything, but he uses his nose constantly. So he will become a diabetes alert dog,” Randle said. “He’ll go with a child with type 1 diabetes and, using his sense of scent, will alert them to high or low blood-sugar levels.”
She'll be sad when Kristoff moves on next spring, but gratified that she has trained him to help people. A few weeks ago, Randle took on 12-week-old Vail, a black Lab, who will follow Randle to grad school after she graduates from ASU next May.
Although it’s a big responsibility, raising the dogs has been enriching as well.
“I’ve learned a lot about responsibility, and about my time management and the amount of things I can juggle,” Randle said.
“I’ve grown a lot as a person.”