Honoring Canine Assistants: Changing the world with wet noses and wagging tails


Photo by Logan White

Lambert students pose with the Canine Assistants and thank them for sharing their canine companions

Lambert has recently partnered with Canine Assistants to reduce the stress levels of high school students by using what is, undeniably, one of the world’s most beautiful things: puppies. Canine Assistants has been bringing a few of their resident service dogs to Lambert’s Media Center for students to play with, and on Thursday, March 31, Lambert thanked the organization with a donation of over $600 and tables full of puppy supplies brought in by students. From peanut butter to dog toys, Canine Assistants deserves it all for introducing their precious pups, Tidings, Roc, Eli, Russet, Boo, Baker, Kabob, and Tater Tot to Lambert’s student body.

News travels remarkably fast through the halls of Lambert on the days that, “There are puppies in the Media Center!” Ever since the enrollment of these rather fluffy students, Lambert’s campus has reported a remarkable decrease in stress levels. At Lambert, and other campuses touched by the wet noses of Canine Assistants’ service dogs, puppy interaction has been proven to decrease levels of Cortisol, the most common stress hormone affecting people today. Needless to say, when the Canine Assistants arrive, Lambert students flood the Media Center to be greeted by wagging tails.

Canine Assistants, though officially founded in 1991, began as a dream shared between Jennifer Arnold and her father. Arnold was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in her teens, and her struggles with labeling herself as an “inconvenience to others” inspired the idea for a non-profit organization dedicated to helping children and adults with such disabilities: Canine Assistants. After her father’s unexpected and tragic death caused by a drunk driver, Arnold and her mother worked tirelessly for ten years to make their dream become a reality. Today, Canine Assistants prides itself on their mission of, “Training great dogs to help special people.” through animal-assisted therapy.

Located in Milton, Georgia, Canine Assistants cares for over 100 dogs on their property (mostly Golden Retrievers, Labradors, and Doodles), where a majority are born (some are rescued), trained, and matched with children and adults in need of a service companion. Since 1991, over 1,500 dogs have been placed (75-100 per year). Canine Assistants trains several different types of canine companions, including Service Dogs, Seizure Response Dogs, and Companion Dogs. Of course, these remarkable animals are trained to perform necessary tasks, like opening and closing doors, retrieving dropped objects, and summoning help in case of emergencies. But, most of all, they are companions. And most everyone knows that dogs need no training in being loyal friends.

Lambert thanks Canine Assistants for making a difference in the community, and sharing the indescribable joy of companionship with the student body.