Humans of BluePath: Thomas and Eileen Marston, Puppy Raisers

How it all began:

We have raised six puppies before, all with another service dog organization. Our daughter, Kate Peterson, worked with them as a trainer before joining BluePath. One day we got a call from her asking if we would consider raising another puppy.

Favorite part of raising Penn:

Our favorite part about raising Penn was that he was so affectionate. He would love you and lean against you. If we were sitting down at night watching TV he would come over and put his big ol’ head on your lap. I also enjoyed the training aspect of it. It was wonderful to see the light bulb go on over his head when he was learning something. It’s really fun when they get a skill down so well that you can tell they really love doing it.

Advice for puppy raisers:

Don’t sweat the small stuff. The biggest thing is to have confidence in your dog. When you’re out and there is a potential distraction, trust the dog and stay calm — they will get that.

Fun facts

  • The Marstons have a 10-year-old yellow lab named Abbie. The family raised her, fostered her as she had three litters of service dog puppies, then adopted her once she retired

  • Thomas and Eileen love to travel. Some of their favorite trips have been to Chattanooga, Spain, Vail, CO, Utah, and Mexico. They hope to travel to France next!

  • Some of Penn’s nicknames include: Penny Penny Pen Pen, Pen Meister, and Pen Pal.

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