Over the past couple weeks, you might have noticed a dog trotting through the hallways of the school. Sophomore Corbin Reine is teaching himself how to train dogs for Paws for Autism, an organization that utilizes service dogs to help youths all across the country.
“The dog is already trained, I’m just trying to get comfortable with him and learn how to walk him.” The dog, Franklin, is a seven-year-old veteran service dog.
“I will eventually be training service dogs, and Franklin is the dog Paws 4 Autism gives to new trainers. He has to be at school with me because service dogs go everywhere with their owner.” Corbin said, “He has not misbehaved in the school. In the future, other dogs might misbehave a little, but Franklin is fully trained.”
The initial transition was rather uncomfortable for Corbin.
“It felt weird at first because that’s something you don’t see, a dog walking through the hallway. I wasn’t exactly sure how to handle him in school, but I became more confident after a couple of days.”
Regardless of the initial difficulties, Corbin has grown quite accustomed to guiding Corbin fearlessly through the hallways of Rockhurst High School.
“Now I’m used to it and it’s not much of a distraction unless another student starts petting him. The students and teachers seem surprised how calm and trained he is,” says Corbin.
Corbin is excited to see what the future holds for him and his canine companion.
“Franklin will be with me for the rest of the school year, and if all goes well I will have other dogs in future years.”