Humans of UK: Lindsay McSorely trains dogs to be different |

Lindsay McSorely, UK 4 Paws for Ability’s recruiting chair, can often be seen walking around campus with Emmy, her four-month-old Goldendoodle host family.

UK 4 Paws allows UK students to get involved in the community by training assistance dogs. It’s one of three organizations on campus that train service dogs, and they focus specifically on socialization and basic commands like ‘sit’, ‘lie down’ and ‘roll over. “

Emmy is one of 22 dogs the organization is currently training to help people with medical needs such as seizures or diabetes, among others. McSorely once trained another Goldendoodle named Blossom, who now helps with mobility and medical alert.

McSorely said UK 4 Paws wanted her puppies to be comfortable with people in as many types of environments as possible, so she takes Emmy to the park, to class and to work.

McSorley said Blossom’s training took around seven months, but the process can range from a few months to a year and a half, depending on the dog. Once UK 4 Paws has taught their foster dogs as much as possible, they will take the dogs to Xenia, Ohio, to 4 Paws, 4 Ability headquarters there. At headquarters, they will test dog obedience, socialization and confidence. If they are successful, they will stay in Xenia and gain specialist skills that will depend on what is assigned to them.

UK 4 Paws has 24 dogs which have become full service dogs.

Those who do not succeed are either fired for further training or inducted into the Fabulous Flunkies. Fabulous Flunkies can be adopted by their trainers or adopted by trusted members of the community. Either way, even dogs that don’t pass are guaranteed a good, loving home.

“There are people in the community who like to adopt the Flunkies because they are already trained,” McSorely said.

To join UK 4 Paws, students complete an application and go through a selection process. McSorely described 4 Paws as a tight-knit community that people don’t need previous dog training experience to join, where members will answer any questions applicants may have.

“There are a lot of us, so we have several GroupMe going on, and there is always someone who wants to go to the park or the tennis courts and take the dogs to play,” said McSorely. “It’s obviously very difficult to let go of a dog because we are so close to them, but seeing him go to a family that really needs them is the most rewarding thing. It makes you realize that they are. have a bigger purpose in life than just making you happy. “

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