Shenandoah University has a new star and she is attracting all of the attention on campus.
Adrienne Bloss has been walking around Shenandoah University’s campus for six years, but now when you see her, she’s accompanied by a four-legged friend.
“When I first asked the trainers where she should go, they just said everywhere, she’s with you at all times,” Bloss, said.
And as Provost of the school, Bloss has a very busy schedule — but Grace the service dog has been keeping up.
“Meetings to seminars to conferences, she went to a conference recently in downtown Washington,” Bloss said.
Bloss received Grace through an organization called Veterans Moving Forward, who depend on volunteers to raise, train and socialize service dogs.
She said the experience of raising Grace means so much to her because she lost a friend to an epileptic seizure a few years ago.
“Although Grace is not being trained to serve someone with epilepsy, I’ve always said if I had an opportunity to work with a service dog, I would do it in honor of Caleb,” Bloss said.
And now she’s got the whole Shenandoah University community honoring Caleb — because when she can’t take Grace, they step in.
“It definitely takes a village to raise Grace, she makes it so easy.” Jana Mangubat of Administrative assistant.
A part of that village is the Shenandoah Veterans and Supporters organization. Student veteran James Lakey takes Grace to her training sessions once per week and to his classes. The marine veteran says helping to train Grace is his way of giving back to his military family.
“I’ve lost a couple of brothers PTSD to help them if they have gotten the help I think they would have been better, so with grace i feel like I can save another brother,” Lakey said.
The school will have Grace until she’s trained, matured and matched with a veteran. Then she will go on to get specific training to meet that veteran’s needs.
“Knowing that she is going to go help somebody and help them get through their troubles I think that’s worth it in the end.” Lakey says.
The school says they plan on participating in raising service puppies in the future.