Puppy Raiser Showcase: Kate

By | 4 Paws University, Ohio State University

Maggie, basically forced me to become a part of 4 Paws, and for that I’m infinitely grateful! Maggie is my sorority twin sister, and she was so passionate about 4 Paws and about eventually becoming a handler that it was contagious. There was no way to listen to her talk about her experiences without desperately wanting to join yourself (and trust me, it’s still that way).

Since we were becoming roommates this year, we applied to be handlers through 4 Paws at Ohio State, and anxiously waited to hear. I spent all of last summer watching Roen from the Gracelings litter, and that was it, I was in love. What sent me over the edge was bringing Roen to visit my grandmother in the hospital: Roen spent the entire time curled up across my grandmother’s lap, giving her immense love and comfort.

Maggie and I had the privilege of fostering Luther from the Activist litter beginning in August, and I’ve never loved a creature more. Luther made me kinder and more patient, and he was the most incredible, loving and well behaved foster you could ask for. He brought such life into our lives, and everyone who met him was impressed by this incredible dog. If any dog deserves to be a service dog, it would be Luther, and saying goodbye to him as he began advanced training was one of the most gut wrenching things I’ve done. It’s so bittersweet, and I’m so proud. Being a part of this organization as a sitter and a handler has helped me grow in ways I didn’t think were possible, and have given me the most incredible opportunities to change lives, and be a part of something bigger than myself.

Puppy Raiser – Melanie Repella

By | 4 Paws University, Ohio State University, Volunteer

16684054_10206496556212374_2312957724070379013_nMeet 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.

Puppy Raiser – Emily Manchick and Sarah Smith

By | 4 Paws University, Ohio State University, Volunteer

16601917_10212739983241423_5387096421749148164_oMeet these Puppy Raisers

Names:  Emily Manchick and Sarah Smith
School:  The Ohio State University
Majors:  Both Pre OT Majors

Being a member of the 4 Paws college program has brought so much joy to both of us. Fostering allowed us to branch out of our comfort zone and be involved in an extremely rewarding program, as well as further develop our passion for helping others. It has allowed us to learn more about the impacts a service dog can make for their handler, as well as teach us to be an advocate for service dogs in our community. We are both forever thankful that we found this organization as it has changed our lives for the better! Pictured is both of us with our first foster, Ahoy from the cookie litter!

Puppy Raiser – Madison Stegall

By | 4 Paws University, Ohio State University, Volunteer

16508757_921216501315056_7604048253395653475_nMeet a Puppy Raiser

Name:  Madison Stegall
School:  Ohio State University
Major:  Marketing and Pre-Occupational Therapy (Minor in Disability Studies)
Dogs fostered:  I’ve fostered for 3 semesters with 4 Paws for Ability

When I first joined 4 Paws University Program I never knew what an impact it would have on my life. I have always been passionate about advocating for those with disabilities and 4 Paws has given me the perfect platform for this. I’ve truly found my family here at Ohio State within 4 Paws and have met the most amazing people! I can’t imagine my life without these wonderful people and even more wonderful pups! Challenge after challenge will be thrown at you as a foster, but the rewards are beyond measure! Pictured here is Geneva (cookie litter) and I at a College of Veterinary Medicine event that 4 Paws on campus volunteered at.