Meet a Puppy Raiser
Name: Melanie Repella
School: The Ohio State University
Campus Program Role: President
Dogs fostered: I’ve fostered six dogs throughout my time with 4 Paws. Atlantis. Amar. Shrek. Raguel. Gally. Saul. Each dog has left with a piece of my heart and knowing that they belong with someone who needs them more than I do is what gets me through those heart-breaking giveback days.
Being the President of 4 Paws at Ohio State has taught me leadership and strength. I am able to leave Ohio State knowing that I played a part in the lives of every service dog here at OSU and the families that they touch. This semester I took on one of my biggest challenges yet – raising a puppy. I picked Saul up at eight weeks of age. Now he is fourteen weeks and is already doing so well with training. 4 Paws for Ability has been my passion here at Ohio State. It is what made my experience unique and helped me to make a difference on such a large campus.
On a personal level, I have grown as a leader and more importantly, a human. It has made me reflect on acceptance for not only people with disabilities, but all people who are different for any reason. On a larger scale, 4 Paws has allowed me to educate the public on service dogs and change the lives of families all over the country and the world. So as I spend my final semester as the president of 4 Paws for Ability. I hope that I am able to solidify my message of acceptance, passion, and empathy amongst our club here on campus and throughout all members of the 4 Paws community. If you have been a foster, puppy sitter, or supported this organization while on campus then I cannot thank you enough from the bottom of my heart for seeing the beauty in what we do; I hope that you feel I have led you well and are able to see my love for this program. I will be attending veterinary school next year outside the state of Ohio (possibly in Ireland!) so it seems my 4 Paws journey is coming to a close. While it may be time to move on, I know that I will struggle to let go. 4 Paws for Ability – both my dogs and the people I have met – have changed me as a person and for that I am forever grateful. As I move on from this organization, I know that every soul – animal and human – I’ve encountered will travel with me on my future adventures and throughout life.