Find out how one busy sophomore is giving back to the human (and animal) community. “I really wanted a dog.” When Christian Brothers student Carleigh Osen (’15) asked her parents for a pet, she never thought that working with dogs would become a huge part of her life. The sophomore became involved with Canine Companions […]
Find out how one busy sophomore is giving back to the human (and animal) community.
“I really wanted a dog.”
When Christian Brothers student Carleigh Osen (’15) asked her parents for a pet, she never thought that working with dogs would become a huge part of her life. The sophomore became involved with Canine Companions for Independents (CCI), a “non-profit organization that raises dogs to help disabled people.”
Carleigh and other volunteers primarily raise Labradors and Golden Retrievers. The dogs are exposed to outside influences for about a year and a half under the trainers’ care.
“[We] basically train them, raise them, love them, and give them a home” the sophomore said.
After a year and a half of bonding, the trainers are required to give the dogs back to the organization. The dogs then go through a six month training period where they are taught more specialized things to help people who are blind or are in wheelchairs.
After over a year of bonding with the animal, some people find it difficult to give the dog back to the organization. Not so for Carleigh.
“The most gratifying experience was handing the leash over,” she said. “I got to see where all my hard work and time went into.”
“It was really rewarding to see the dog help someone.”
Training three dogs is a very time consuming and exhausting, especially for someone who is in accelerated classes and plays on the varsity water polo team. The active student claims that time management is an important part in her ability to bond and train the dogs.
The humble sophomore’s father, Mr. Rick Osen, believes that the program has helped Carleigh become a “very tolerant and very patient person.”
“It’s led her to believe that all animals should be cared for and not harmed,” he added.
Training a dog takes a lot of energy and dedication, but Carleigh believes that it is well worth it.
“It’s a good way to be involved in the community,” said our Falcon of the Week. “It’s a fun experience to have a dog with you for a year and a half.”