VANCOUVER, WA (KPTV) - There’s a new member of the family at C-TRAN, the public transit system serving the Vancouver area.
For the first time, C-TRAN employees are partnering with Guide Dogs for the Blind to train a dog for future service.
“It’s something I’ve been interested in for a while,” Veronica Marti, the lead travel trainer for C-TRAN, said. “It just seemed like a perfect match for C-TRAN since we have a lot of guide dogs that use our services.”
Marti told FOX 12 she got the opportunity to work with one of the Guide Dogs for the Blind team members through a mutual customer; from there, she decided she wanted to become a volunteer trainer with the organization and put together a proposal for C-TRAN.
“[I] got a very enthusiastic yes, let’s do that, from our CEO, and we just went from there,” she said.
On Saturday, Marti got a black lab pup named Jamboree, who just turned 10 weeks old.
She went through an extensive process just to become a volunteer trainer, and so did her colleague Sindy Quitugua, who will act as Jamboree’s back-up trainer.
“Yesterday was his first bus ride,” Marti said. “It’s been very fun, very exhausting. [I’ve] learned a lot about Jamboree and what he likes and his routine.”
The idea is to expose him to a variety of environments and situations – including public transit – so he can better serve a person in the future who will likely rely on the service to get around.
For the next year or so, Marti and Quitugua will raise Jamboree, teaching him the basics of obedience and socialization.
“If I go to the restaurant, he goes to the restaurant,” Marti added. “[He] goes grocery shopping with me, goes to visit family friends, things like that. Everywhere I go, he’s right there with me.”
So it’s only natural he’s sharing her desk space, too, which is now outfitted with a dog crate and a baby gate.
She says the reaction at the office has been overwhelmingly ‘pawsitive.’
“He’s become quite popular here very quickly,” she said.
When he’s roughly 15-months old, he’ll go back to the Guide Dogs for the Blind center in Boring, Oregon, for more extensive training with the goal of graduating from the program and becoming someone’s guide dog; someone who will likely need public transit and may rest a little easier knowing that Jamboree is an expert.
To follow along on Jamboree’s adventures, you can catch him on Twitter @Jamboree_CTRAN.
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