By KARLIN HOFFMAN
The new Canine Companions for Independence puppy trainers club has brought two new faces to the University of Mary Washington this semester, along with increased campus education of the CCI. The new faces belong to the puppies being trained and raised, Dragon and Farrah.
The dogs have been with their human companions since June and learned many things during their stay here. Rebekah Selbrede, a junior psychology major and the president of the CCI puppy raisers, shared what the dogs will be taught by those taking care of them.
The club hopes to do more than just raise these dogs to help people in need. The goal is to educate the general public about service dogs and how they need to be treated. This type of education expects people to follow certain rules in order to keep the dog from getting distracted or from becoming improperly trained.
There are also rules that need to be met by the trainers and their dogs in order to assure the dogs do not become a distraction in the classroom.
“The puppies have been pretty good as far. Dragon is not quite ready for multiple classes yet, so we have not had any classroom problems,” Selbrede said. “People try to distract him by petting him without asking me first, or giving him commands without me asking them to. But, for the most part, people have been pretty respectful.”
Students in the apartments had to get used to a new way of living now that puppies are stationed in their building.
“Living in the same building as the dog is fine,” senior art history major Kara Yurina said. “I was a little worried that we would hear barking, but I can’t say I have. I forget he even lives in the building sometimes.”
· Please do not pet the puppy, talk to the puppy or otherwise distract the puppy without asking the raiser first.
· Please do not ever attempt to feed the puppy without the expressed approval of the raiser.
· In general, please ignore the puppy unless asking the raiser for permission to interact.
· To quiet the puppy – Use the “do not” command.
· If unsuccessful, the raiser will remove the puppy from the classroom.
· Though generally clean, the raiser will remove the puppy if the puppy causes a mess. The raiser will also clean up the mess.