Hoosiers Helping Hounds Through New Club, ICAN

Hoosiers Helping Hounds Through New Club, ICAN

The Indiana Canine Assistant Network is something worth barking about.
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A new club, Indiana Canine Assistance Network (ICAN), has Hoosiers howling about a new way to help train and work with service dogs on campus.

Service puppy, Tessa, drew large crowds of IU students to the ICAN booth during the involvement fair. ICAN is a nonprofit organization that works with incarcerated individuals who help train the service dogs while in prison and then providing children and adults who have disabilities with trained service dogs to give them greater independence in their daily lives.

Co-founders Julie Mathias and Ashton Asbury started ICAN after learning about the program in their animal behavior class last March.

When Mathias and Asbury first presented the idea for their new club, the Indiana University school board expressed concerns about the safety of students around the ICAN dogs. Mathias says, “Although it hasn’t been easy, we have finally been approved to have students host ICAN service dogs on campus for 2 weeks to help with their training.”

The goal of ICAN at IU is to spread awareness of how people should act around service dogs by helping train the dogs in a college campus setting and also plan and execute campus events to raise money for ICAN. This past December, students came to the Kelley School of Business and interacted with the ICAN service puppies at their first event, which aimed to help students relax and de-stress during finals week.

Education and Outreach Committee Head, Leanne Sanders, says that ICAN hopes to have more outreach events in the future to help promote education on how people should act around service dogs. There are many ways for students to get involved in ICAN, through attending meetings, helping plan events, managing finances and donations, heading committees, and being a dog trainer.

IU student and dog lover, Elise Kaehr, says that she is excited to join ICAN because she misses her dog a lot when she is away from home and wants the opportunity to work with dogs on campus.

As ICAN starts to grow, IU students may start to see more service dogs in training walking around campus, and even going on buses and sitting in their classes. It is important that students take caution around these dogs and always ask the handler before approaching, petting, or taking pictures of the service dogs in training.

Students can learn more about ICAN at their Call-Out Meeting on January 18th at 7 p.m. in Woodburn 101 or by visiting their website, icanatiu.weebly.com.

Julie Mathias: jemathia@umail.iu.edu

Cofounder and Co-President of ICAN at IU

Ashton Asbury: amasbury@umail.iu.edu

Cofounder and Co-President of ICAN at IU

Leanne Sanders: leansand@umail.iu.edu

Education and Outreach Committee Head

Cover Image Credit: Photo courtesy of ICAN

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To All Incoming Freshmen, When You Get To College, Please Don't Be THAT Freshman

I am pretty sure we all know who I'm talking about.

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As we are all counting down the days to return to campus, students are looking forward to meeting new people and reuniting with old friends. And then, there is the freshman.

We have all been there. The eagerness and excitement have been slowly building up through months of summer vacation, all waiting for this moment. I understand the anxiousness, enthusiasm, and insecurities. The opportunity to meet new people and explore a new area is very intriguing. But let's be real, you are here to make memories and get an education. So here are a few pieces of advice from a former college freshman.

1. Don't be that freshman who follows their significant other to college

This is the boy or girl who simply can not think for themselves. The 17-year-old puts their own personal goals and interests aside to sacrifice for a six-month high school relationship. This will more than likely end at an end of semester transfer after the relationship has been tested for a month or two in college life. So if you want to really enjoy your freshman year, make your own decisions and do what is best for you.

2. Don't be that freshman who lets their parents pick their major

"You are not going to school just to waste my money."

This is a statement you might have heard from your parents. As true as it might seem, this is definitely not a good way to start your college years. If you are not majoring in something you can see yourself doing, you are wasting your time. You can major in biology, go to medical school, and make the best grades. But if deep down you don't want to be a doctor, you will NOT end up being a good doctor. When it comes to picking your major, you really have to follow your heart.

3. Don't be that freshman who gets overwhelmed with the first taste of freedom

Yes. It is all very exciting. You don't have a curfew, you don't have rules, you don't have anyone constantly nagging you, but let's not get carried away. Don't be the freshman who gets a tattoo on the first night of living on your own. Don't be the freshman who tries to drink every liquor behind the bar. Don't be the freshman who gets caught up being someone that they aren't. My best advice would be to take things slow.

4. Don't be that freshman who starts school isolated in a relationship

I'm not telling you not to date anyone during your freshman year. I am saying to not cut yourself off from the rest of the world while you date someone. Your first year on campus is such an amazing opportunity to meet people, but people are constantly eager to start dating someone and then only spend time with that person.

Be the freshman who can manage time between friends and relationships.

5. Don't be that freshman who can't handle things on their own

It is your first year on your own. Yes, you still need help from your parents. But at this point, they should not be ordering your textbooks or buying your parking pass. If you need something for a club or for class, YOU should handle it. If you're having roommate problems, YOU should handle it, not your parents. This is the real world and college is a great time for you to start building up to be the person you want to be in the future, but you can't successfully do that if your parents still deal with every minor inconvenience for you.

6. Don't be that freshman who only talks to their high school friends

I know your high school was probably amazing, and you probably had the coolest people go there. However, I believe that college is a great time to be on your own and experience new things. Meeting new people and going to new places will allow you to grow into a more mature person. There is a way to balance meeting new friends and maintaining friendships with childhood friends, and I am sure you will find that balance.

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To The Furry Friends That Helped Me Cope, You'll Always Have A Special Place In My Heart

Where would we be without our precious fur babies?

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A big thank you goes to my two loves, Booboo and Peppa. Booboo is an adorable Chihuahua that acts nothing like one and Peppa is my beautiful white lemon drop Beagle pup. During my Sophomore year of high school, I was going through a really tough time with trying to cope with anxiety plus the intense curriculum that year entailed. There were many nights I sat in bed bawling, feeling stupid because I could not for the life of me understand chemistry. Booboo would always come and sit in my lap, and just look at me wagging his tail before he would try to cuddle me as best he could. He has licked away many tears, as has Peppa.

My family got Booboo in August of my senior year of high school. My mom rescued him from a patient's home who was about to take him to the pound. I was getting ready for summer band when my mom comes into my room holding Booboo. He had the sweetest face and gave lots of love right away. To this day, even though I have a pup of my own, I will still always consider him my baby. He helped me find myself and learn to love myself. He was there for all of my hard work and exhaustion in high school. When I go home to visit my parents, he knows it's my car and comes running to see me.

Peppa went through a tough break up with me and she sat there with a paw on me at all times, on standby to show me love. I was three hours away from home and three hours away from my best friend. It was from that moment on that I knew Peppa was always going to have a special place in my heart.

There are studies that prove that dogs help people with anxiety and depression cope, but I had the pleasure of experiencing it myself. So, here's a thank you to the furry friends who impacted my life for the better and always love me. Some days I don't love myself but when Peppa wakes me up with cuddles, I fall in love every time. When I come home each day, Peppa barks repeatedly and jumps on me because she's so excited that I'm home and its one of the best feelings in the world. And sometimes I can feel a panic attack coming on and I show many different signs, or usually none at all, but my girl can always sense them and she comes and sits up next to me or playfully bites my hand.

Without my pups, I wouldn't be who I am today. Heck, I might not even be here today. So hug your pup a little closer and show them extra love, for they love you more than probably anyone ever will.

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