Paula Gruenke Involved In Service Dog Training Program
Lake Zurich student is part of Augustana College's Viking Pups
On many college campuses you don't typically see dogs attending class with their handlers, but at Augustana College, in Rock Island, Ill., it has become a fairly common sight and a source of pride.
Viking Pups is a service, facility and therapy dog training club at Augustana. The one-year-old club fosters, socializes and trains dogs on campus in partnership with the Quad Cities Canine Assistance Network Inc. (QC CAN).
The Viking Pups program is designed to take dogs from puppyhood to placement as a service dog. With a professor's approval, a dog can go to classes with a student, and dogs are commonly seen in the library, dining halls and at sporting events.
Viking Pups has been successful in recruiting many student volunteers on campus, including:
Paula Gruenke, a junior from Lake Zurich, majoring in biology and psychology. Gruenke is a handler and the data and design committee coordinator for Viking Pups.
According to Mary Kiolbasa, a college sophomore and Viking Pups founder, "The campus is great because it's a mini-version of what the dogs are going to experience in the real world."
Viking Pups are on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/VikingPups
About Augustana: Founded in 1860, Augustana College is a selective four-year residential college of the liberal arts and sciences. Augustana is recognized for the innovative program Augie Choice, which provides each student up to $2,000 to pursue a high-impact learning experience such as study abroad, an internship or research with a professor. Current students and alumni include 141 Academic All-Americans, a Nobel laureate, 12 college presidents and other distinguished leaders. The college enrolls 2,500 students and is located along one of the world's most important waterways, the Mississippi River, in a community that reflects the diversity of the United States.