Project/blog link:A Man's Best Friend? And Helper BASIS Advisor: Ricki Miller Internship location: PowerPaws and FSDS Onsite Mentor: Meg Flynn and Veronica Wiley
The purpose of this project is to research how service dog institutions provide emotional support for their clients aside from training their service dog. Additionally, this project will determine any prejudices and misconceptions younger generations hold about service dogs and their handlers. The first step in this project involves attending training classes at two service dog training facilities, and observing training methodologies and client-trainer interactions. Next, a sample of the BASIS Peoria student population (5th-8th grade) will be surveyed to gather data on a younger generation's views on service dogs. This study is intended to reveal which aspects of the service dog world are not emphasized to the younger public. The findings will then be used to create a presentation about service dogs to address any misconceptions identified in the survey, and to raise awareness of service dogs and their true purpose.