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Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Student Volunteer Trains Service Guide Dogs
Between class, homework and staying active with the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority, senior government and politics major Emily Zier has one more responsibility on her hands — raising a 1-year-old black labrador named Rhonda.
And Rhonda — or Ronnie, as Zier likes to call her — is no ordinary canine; Zier is training her to be a service guide dog to assist the blind and visually impaired.
As a volunteer for the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind, Inc., Zier’s job is to socialize, house train and teach Ronnie commands for about a year until she’s ready to be paired with an owner. And because the dog cannot be left alone for more than one hour, the busy student has to take Ronnie with her everywhere she goes — to class, to work and even to social events.