Humans of BluePath: Alyssa Cornelius, Puppy Raiser

Alyssa and pet dog, Trapper John

How it All Began:

Before joining BluePath, I raised guide dogs for several years. I have a lot of experience working with dogs from my puppy raising days in vet school and from my work as a vet. For a few years, I stopped raising puppies and realized how much I missed it. I decided to join BluePath to get back into puppy raising.

Favorite Part of Puppy Raising:

My favorite part of building these relationships with the puppies is the moment when the training and sense of mutual understanding clicks. Every dog is different and progresses at different rates. Sal is not food motivated, so we had to train in other ways. I was so proud of his progress when one week he was a bit rowdy, and by the next week, he was calm, collected, and settled in. I love seeing these pivotal moments of growth.

Favorite Memory with BluePath:

The day I picked up Sal. It was a special moment for me as Sal is my first puppy with BluePath and I was able to reunite with a puppy raiser that I know. I am looking forward to the Walkathon this year.

Words of Wisdom for Prospective Puppy Raisers:

Don’t be afraid to ask for help while raising puppies. Sal is the 6th dog I’ve raised. I am a vet, puppy sitter, and certified dog trainer, but I still need help or have questions every now and then. BluePath provides you with a wonderful team of supportive professionals. Don’t get frustrated, just reach out.

What Volunteering with BluePath Means to Her:

Puppy raising with BluePath has taught me the value of patience. Puppies are brilliant, but we can’t expect them to be perfect. Sometimes puppies will have “puppy moments.” I’ve learned to adapt and meet them halfway, whether they are hyper or cool as a cucumber.

Fast Facts:

About Alyssa:

Where She Lives: Utica, NY

Dream Vacation Spot: Italy. I would love to visit vineyards and the sunny countryside.

Favorite Hobbies: Crafting and painting. I am obsessed with my Cricut crafting machine that allows me to make custom t-shirts and mugs. I also love to run. I ran my 3rd half-marathon last year.

Favorite Food: My mom’s eggplant parmesan.

Favorite Time of Year: Fall. I love sweater weather, wearing boots, watching the leaves change, and weather that is not too cold. I also love when the Christmas season begins right after Thanksgiving ends.

About Sal:

Favorite Toy: Sal loves his red tennis ball. He will carry it in his mouth and chase after it.

Newest Skill: Sal masters new skills quickly. He recently learned the command “over” to lay on his side. He is learning the command “close” in order to stay by my legs while seated under a desk.

Favorite Sleeping Spot: Sal loves to sleep upside down anywhere but especially loves his kennel.

Silly Traits: Sal is very dramatic and likes to plop onto the floor when he lays down with his long legs. He often leans back while sitting and puffs out his cheeks like a pufferfish when he is excited.

Fun Facts: Sal was named in memory of a beloved board member of one of BluePath’s funders, The Thomas and Agnes Carvel Foundation. He is a standard poodle and is hypoallergenic. He is taller than most Labradors and is very lean.

Three Words That Describe Sal: Goofy. Dramatic. Sophisticated.

Scroll to Top