Taz (Hennings Mill Lousco Cool Cash X Eatonlane Maggie Mae)
graduating to Phase 3 of service dog training.

Two Eatonlane puppies, Willow and Judy off to live with their puppy raisers.
(Ch Raintree Slippery When Wet, JH X Eatonlanes Mustang Sally)

Paws With A Cause "Juno" in training to be a service dog.
(Balrion Ring Around The World X Eatonlanes Maggie Mae)

Lynn at graduation with Guide Dog "Samantha".
(Buttonwood Victor X Ch Blackwaters Jezebel)

Guide Dog "Gabby"
(Ch Allegheny Jacob at Jessmor X Ch Eatonlanes Only One)

Kay at graduation with Guide Dog "Zephyr"
(Ch Blackwaters Rio Grande X Blackwaters Black Pearl)

(Ch Blackwaters Rio Grande X Blackwaters Black Pearl)

Juno: The Wonder Dog
by Kelsey Martin
Age 13
7th grade student at Woodlin School
Member of Busy Beavers 4-H Club
Woodrow, CO

Paws With A Cause (PAWS) is a national organization which facilitates the independence of people with disabilities by utilizing the unique working characteristics of dogs. PAWS National Headquarters is based in Wayland, Michigan, where formal training occurs for a Foster Puppy.

The Foster Puppy Program is designed to help meet the increasing demands for assistance dogs. Only 1 out of every 4 disabled applicants actually ever receives an assistance dog due to the limited number of foster homes available. A participant in the Foster Puppy Program is given charge of a puppy (usually a Retriever or Labrador) that will eventually grow into a full-time assistance dog. Recipients of a Foster Puppy are required to teach the puppy basic obedience and to socialize the puppy in different environments or with sounds that he or she might encounter in their working years.

I became affiliated with the PAWS organization shortly after Christmas in 2003. I contacted PAWS and told them that I was interested in the Foster Puppy Program. They replied and told me that I would be receiving a 12-week-old male black Labrador puppy in May.

When I finally received my foster puppy, I was given the chance to name him. However, I could not name him directly, because if I did, it could interfere with other assistance dogs’ names. Therefore, I submitted 3 names, my number one name being Zed, but it was not accepted because another dog was named Zeb, and the names were too closely related. So my second favorite name was accepted: Juno.

Juno was a roly-poly puppy when I received him. He had 2 inches of loose skin that would fan out when he laid down. It was a humorous sight! Juno has the sweetest and most understanding disposition I have ever seen in a puppy, and he is extremely intelligent!! Training him is a very rewarding experience because while Juno is learning, I am too. I am learning more about dogs, people with disabilities, and about training.

It wasn’t long until Juno was prepared to go everywhere with me; school, the grocery store, into town, and large cities such as Denver. He is always excited to go places. He is especially excited to go to school because he gets to ride on the bus, which he just loves!! It always seems that when his cape is put on, he changes attitude completely! He goes from a silly normal dog to a devoted working dog.

Unfortunately though, I’m afraid my experience with Juno is coming to an end. I recently received a PAWS letter announcing my time with Juno would end soon and that I need to get him ready to leave. I’m happy that Juno will one day assist a disabled person, but I am sad that he will be leaving me.

When Juno arrives in Michigan he will begin a Phase I training period and will be screened for his area of “expertise.” He will begin a continuation of the training that he has already started with me. The degree of difficulty will progress over the next two months.

Phase II training is when Juno will learn his retrieving and door-opening skills. Periodic evaluations and tests will occur with Juno during each phase of training. These evaluations will be reviewed by PAWS personnel who will then begin looking for a “match” for Juno.

Phase III is the final training stage. By then, Juno will be matched with his disabled partner. Close study of the client’s disability will help to provide the establishment and finalization of Juno’s career. 3 to 4 months are needed to finish Phase III.

Special thanks from Juno and I go to:

• My family who has supported me throughout this rewarding experience.
• Woodlin School for allowing me to bring Juno to school and interacting with him.
• Verta Walker for letting Juno ride the school bus.
• Sandy Chiavelli for helping to “school” Juno (and myself).
• Kirsten Everett who is our PAWS Representative and has helped to teach Juno his commands.
• Kay and Lynn White who are Juno's breeders and are so generous to donate a puppy for such a worthwhile cause.
• The 4-H program through which I was able to find out about the need for adopting a foster puppy.
• A final thanks goes to Paws With A Cause who has given me time with Juno and the chance to learn so much.

*If you wish to contact PAWS about the Foster Puppy Program, you can call them at 800-253-PAWS or you can visit their website at