Monday, May 9, 2011

Raising a Guide Dog Puppy in College

by Ashley Carroll

Ashley Carroll with Golden Lab Cross MedfordEver since I was in sixth grade, all I can remember is going to school with a dog almost every day. When I was a senior in high school, I told myself that I would wait till my third year of college before raising again. Needless to say that thought did not last very long.

In March of 2010, I got Medford. He’s three-quarters Golden and one-quarter Lab. He is my seventh puppy, but the first I’ve raised alone. When I got Medford, I was still living in the college dorms. My parents were great and agreed to watch him for a whole month until school was out. My Fresno puppy club leader, Mary Harris, was also offered to watch him for a week. With their help, Medford learned to behave well enough to start the fall semester with me in August.

It is not easy raising a Guide Dog puppy while in college. I have to balance schoolwork, working with Medford, and spending time with friends. I have been blessed so far -- all my teachers and the students at Fresno State have been very supportive of what I am doing. Medford and I have become very well known around campus. He has been nicknamed “Bear” because he sort of looks like a bear cub. He does great in class, as he goes right to sleep and doesn’t get up until he is told.

I keep a blog called “Life with a Guide Dog in Training in College” that talks about my adventure of raising a Guide Dog puppy while going to college. In my blog I talk about the ups and downs Medford and I face together. Medford is 15 months old now and could be recalled for formal training by GDB at any time.
Golden Lab Cross puppy Polaris
Luckily, I just received my new puppy, Polaris, who will join me next school year. He’s seven-eighths Golden and one eighth Lab. For now, Polaris is staying with my parents. I will document my adventures with him on my blog, as well. I’d like to thank my parents, my Fresno and Bakersfield group, Mary Harris, Margaret Baker, and Guide Dogs for the Blind for helping me and allowing me to raise a puppy while in college.


  1. Am I correct in recalling that Ashley raised Lobo (yellow lab male)?
    He's such a sweetie when I knew him in the kennel :)

  2. yes i raised lobo he is enjoying the life as a very spoiled pet with my parents

  3. Ashley
    My name is Dawn and I am a leader in Washington state for GDB. I am trying to assist a few college students who live on campus to change the college policy of allowing these pups to live on campus. Do you have any recommendations?

  4. Ashley,

    Did you live on campus in campus housing when you raised a Guide Puppy? I live on campus during the school year and was wondering if you had any experience with this.


  5. Could you contact me as I have some questions on how to get my guide dog puppy raising program off the ground at my university. Thank you !!!

  6. Hi Caitlyn! Please send us an email to - thanks for reaching out. :)

  7. Raising a guide dog puppy while studying is really a hard job. Time management is one of the thing that you must have or learn. I am so amazed that you have done this things and now there is a new member. you must really love puppies!