The Spartan Speaks

Service dog Blaine to start at OHS

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Freshman Bella Andrade has a new furry friend named Blaine who will be by her side throughout the school day at OHS starting Jan.8. Blaine is a black lab service dog, who is a normal pet at home, but when Andrade and Blaine come to school, for Blaine it is time to get to work.

While Andrade is at school, Blaine is focused on making her school life easier and assisting her needs. Blaine wears a red vest, which is a signal to him that it is no longer time to play around and that it’s time to work.

The ADA defines a “service dog” as any dog individually trained to do work or perform tasks that benefit an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual or other mental disability. Blaine will help assist Andrade and help her around the school.

Blaine can do many things for Andrade. Blaine can pick up a variety of objects and utensils for her like pencils, notebooks and papers. If Andrade drops something, Blaine is there to pick it up for her.

Andrade and Blaine have a few rules that all students and staff must follow in order for Blaine to do his job for her, according to a video explaining the rules that apply. The rules in the video are as follows:

1. Blaine is an extension of Andrade, just like Andrade’s wheelchair. You wouldn’t touch, lean on or pet Andrade’s wheelchair, therefore the same treatment should apply to Blaine.

2. Please do not pet Blaine, whistle at, bark at, feed or in any way distract Blaine from Andrade. This includes adults (who are sometimes the worst offenders).

3. Say “hi” to Andrade before saying “hi” to Blaine.

4. Another student’s or teacher’s fear of dogs or allergies to dogs is not a valid reason to deny Blaine’s attendance to school. Andrade will never make anyone who is afraid of Blaine be near her, nor should anyone touch Blaine thereby making allergies a invalid point.

5. If Andrade asks Blaine to do something for her, pick up a dropped item, open a door, etc., and Blaine is distracted or hesitant to do so, do not jump in and help Andrade. Blaine will do the job in a short period of time and needs to know it is his job, not an able-bodied person’s job. If Andrade asks for help, then please help her but give her time to get Blaine to respond.

6. Blaine is there for Andrade; he is not entertainment for students and staff so please do not ask Andrade to have Blaine demonstrate his skills.

7. When Blaine is taking a break in her kennel, she still does not get to be petted, talked to or fed.

8. Please never step over Blaine. If she is in the way, ask Andrade to re-position her.

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About the Writer
Jazmine Borreson, Online Editor

Jazmine Borreson is the Online  Editor of The Spartan Speaks.

Hi! I am currently a senior at Orono High School. This year I will be be contributing...

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Service dog Blaine to start at OHS