Emmett hasn't read a book, taken a test, or turned in any homework since he arrived at La Salle Prep at the start of the school year.
He actually slept through a lot of classes, sacked out on the floor.
Nevertheless, Emmett is leaving for college this month. After attending classes at La Salle with Megan Ehl ’19 during the first semester, the 10-month-old golden retriever is heading to Carroll College in Montana, where he’ll spend the spring semester with Megan’s sister and La Salle alum Taylor Ehl ’15.
Emmett’s high school and college experiences are part of his own education, As a puppy training to be a service dog, he needs to learn how to stay calm and collected in a variety of situations, such as navigating crowded corridors or sitting on a cold classroom floor.
“We never know where they are going to go, so preparing them for everything they might encounter is important,” said La Salle alum and professional dog trainer Lindsay Chavez ’11, who founded Healing Hounds Service Dogs in 2016.
Emmett, one of several service dogs in training who padded through La Salle over the years, developed a legion of fans during his time in high school. Students cooed when they saw him in the hallway. A teacher once paused his lecture to give the pup a little love. In December, Santa (who looked surprisingly similar to principal Andrew Kuffner) couldn't help but laugh when Emmett barked during Santa's surprise visit to the gym.
College in Montana promises to be different than high school in Oregon: No parents, longer classes, and, most certainly, snow. Emmett will train there and elsewhere for several months before he's assigned to serve someone who needs him.
Until then, “he’s going to have fun in Montana,” said Chavez.
Top photo, center: Emmett, all ready to go.
Top photo, right: Emmett with volunteer puppy raisers and sisters Megan Ehl '19, left, and Taylor Ehl '15.
Bottom photo, right: Emmett, right, with fellow dog-in-training Cleo, and Healing Hounds Service Dogs founder and La Salle alum Lindsay Chavez '11, as well as volunteer puppy raisers and sisters Meghan Ehl '19, and Taylor Ehl '15.