Author: Jean Findlay
It has been just about a year since Ohlin has arrived at Penn and into my life. I am the Foster for the chocolate labrador named Ohlin, the 8th puppy to join the Penn Vet Working Dog Center. He arrived on Halloween Day 2012. He is now a constant companion and rides to work with me every day and attends school at one of the finest working dog programs in the country located at Penn on the Gray’s Ferry Campus.
If Ohlin could speak these are the things that I think he would be reminding all of us to do:
- Stretch when you wake up
- Wag more – bark less
- Be loyal
- Live simply
- Take naps
- Don’t feel guilty about eating a treat
- Make new friends
- When loved ones come home run to the door to greet them
- Long walks are good for you
- When someone is having a bad day just sit next them – no words necessary
There are 16 puppies that are in training to be detection dogs. This week you may have seen in the news that the center celebrated its one-year anniversary with a special program and graduated the first puppy, K9-Socks, who will join Penn’s Division of Public Safety as their first explosive and tracking dog. These puppies are all named after 9/11 rescue dogs. There were more than 300 search and rescue dogs that helped in the rescue effort at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. This video tells their story. Ohlin’s namesake was deployed to the World Trade Center. Here is a photo of the original Ohlin at work.
In the past year, Ohlin has grown from a little ball of fur into 58 pound sleek, athletic, energetic, and let me repeat energetic dog. He is a handsome boy who is always happy – his tail wags all of the time. He would never be able to work with explosives!
In Ohlin’s first weeks with me he went into the election polls to vote on November 6, rode in a shopping cart, visited the Penn Student Calling Center, attended the Penn-Harvard football game and helped me to meet neighbors who wanted to say hello to the cute little chocolate lab at the end of the leash!
Ohlin is currently part of the cancer team of three dogs, which also includes, McBaine (sponsored by St. Germain Catering) and Tsunami. This collaborative project, launched by Penn and the Monell Chemical Senses Center, with an $80,000 grant from the Kaleidoscope of Hope Ovarian Cancer Foundation, involves experts in such disparate fields as veterinary science, oncology, physics, organic chemistry, and nanotechnology. Follow this link to the article that appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer.
If you are interested in learning more about the Penn Vet Working Dog Program please reach out to them or me. There are many ways to get involved as a volunteer and spend time with these little super-heroes in training. I plan on trying to get a superman costume on Ohlin for Halloween this year. We’ll see how that goes.
Visit http://pennvetwdc.org/ and sign-up to receive their eNewsletter.