College: a time of great adventures, lots of homework, making life-long friendships, and let’s face it, staying up past midnight every night of the week. One member of the Corban community is an exception to all but one of these rules.
Greece is a four-month-old Yellow Lab that puts herself to bed each night at 9:30 (lucky her!) Melissa Smeester and Kylie Hineman are the proud trainers of the loveable pup that joyfully inhabits the first floor of Davidson Hall; Greece is a legitimate service dog in training.
“We didn’t just get a dog and call her that … she’s the real thing,” Smeester said.
During college, people tend to miss their families, friends from home, and their pets. The “no animal” policy causes students to search for “animal fixes” in other places, such as the Humane Society or the miscellaneous animals that appear on campus. Greece is often found with residents petting, playing with, and pampering her while she snoozes comfortably in her humble abode, a simple crate. The playful pup attends hall study parties and keeps the girls of Smeester and Hineman’s hall company.
“When we have study parties in the yard, she is our motivation,” said Angela Knight, one of the residents of first-floor Davidson.
Greece will be “attending” Corban the entire 2014-15 school year and possibly part of the following fall semester. Smeester and Hineman have been training and caring for this bundle of joy since July, trading responsibility depending on availability and travel. The “parents” live 40 minutes from each other when they are at home (Seattle), making the shared responsibility easier and more attainable. The roommates began to train “canine companions” a few years ago and have now combined efforts to raise Greece.
“We did dog 4-H together since we were really small. Melissa raised one first, then I raised one, then she raised one, and now I’m raising another one. Now we have Greece. So we’ve both raised two!” Hineman said.
Greece is being trained and is beginning to learn new habits and techniques students should be aware of. In the same way Shadow, the campus security dog, was taught to obey strict guidelines and commands, so is Greece. It is vital to be cautious about approaching Greece when she is wearing her training vest, which shows that Greece is in training and should not be interrupted.
“When she has her little vest on, people shouldn’t pet her. When she doesn’t have her vest, it’s totally fine for people to ask to pet her. But when she has it on, she has to be in her working mind, so she has to ignore everyone,” Hineman said.
Smeester and Hineman are looking forward to an exciting, challenging, and rewarding year with Greece, as she grows in size and knowledge. They welcome visitors and enjoy having guests interact and socialize with their precious puppy.
The girls only have one policy when playing with Greece, “…If you want to pet the dog, that’s fine, but you have to tell us your name first,” Hineman said.