College can be a stressful time for aspiring young academics – but one university has found a perfect solution for easing the minds of anxious students while simultaneously preparing puppies for their own canine careers.
Credited as the oldest guide dog school in the United States, The Seeing Eye is responsible for training hundreds of seeing eye dogs for the blind every year. Prior to graduating from the famed canine academy, however, the young German shepherds, retrievers, and Labradors need to be properly trained and prepared for their future roles as guide dogs.
That’s where Rutgers University comes in; the New Jersey school is just one of two colleges in the nation (University of Delaware is the other) that pairs these guide dogs-in-training with college students.
The Rutgers University Seeing Eye Puppy Raising Club (RUSEPRC) typically hosts 10 to 25 student “raisers” who take on the main responsibility of fostering the puppy while it goes through its preliminary stages of training.
Taking care of a rambunctious puppy can be difficult for any pet owner, let alone a student who is already trying to balance a typical college course load – but that’s why the club also recruits dozens of “sitters” like Ethan Saul.
In addition to being a junior year student at the school and a roommate to one of the club’s raisers, the 20-year-old business major is just one of the club’s many sitters who delights in petsitting the pups as needed.