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Interview with Carolyn: Our Puppy Parents are Worth Their Weight in Purple and Gold!

 In General, Ruther Glen, Service Dogs, Volunteers

Puppy Parents are wonderful volunteers that take our Service Dogs-In-Training home on the weekends and holidays. They give our dogs experience living in a home environment, being around new people, and working with a handler that is not their trainer. This is all very important for our dogs’ success when they graduate and are paired with our Warriors!

We sat down with Carolyn; one of the Puppy Parents at our Ruther Glen, Virginia facility and asked her about her experience with our pups. Carolyn has been a Puppy Parent with us for about three years, and is currently working with Service Dog-In-Training, Booth!

Carolyn decided to become a Puppy Parent when she was at a concert and saw PPH employees with a Service Dog-In-Training. She says she asked a lot of questions about the program and the different ways our dogs help our Warriors. There, she was told about the Puppy Parent volunteer opportunity. Carolyn says, “Being a Veteran myself, I wanted to give back.”

Carolyn says she was given all the training needed to be a successful Puppy Parent. “Training lasted for 8 weeks, meeting once a week, and there are regular refresher sessions. If there’s anything I feel like I need more practice with, the trainers are fantastic in reviewing with me.” Puppy Parents are given food, supplies, and anything else they may need for when they are watching our dogs.


Depending on what stage of training the dog is in, Puppy Parents are sometimes provided with a “Service Dog-In-Training” vest allowing greater public access. Carolyn and Booth go on all sorts of adventures together. They go birdwatching, shopping, to sporting events, restaurants, supermarkets, shows, and so on! Carolyn says, “I want to ensure Booth’s success, that’s why we go to as many places as possible.”

We asked Carolyn how people react to seeing Booth during her outings. She says, “The public tends to be very respectful and keep their distance. I do get stopped by a lot of Veterans interested in Booth’s vest and how the Paws for Purple Hearts program works.”

Carolyn says her favorite thing about Booth is what a love bug she is, how eager she is to do commands, and how much she loves to go on outings. Carolyn says that seeing Booth graduate will be emotional, but she’ll be honored to know that Booth will be doing her highest purpose of serving our Warriors.

We are so thankful for the selflessness of our Puppy Parents, and the time, love, and dedication they spend on our Service Dogs-In-Training. If you are interested in opening up your home to our dogs for such a noble cause, find out more about becoming a Puppy Parent here!

Looking to help our cause? We couldn’t do what we do without our supporters! Please consider helping us spread the word about our mission to your community. Your support allows us to continue to fulfill our mission in helping Veterans and Active Duty Service Members. By simply helping us get the word out there, you are helping us to continue to fulfill our mission. Please also consider a monetary donation or donating from our Amazon Wishlist to help our cause.

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