Humans of BluePath: Jena Ray, Puppy Raiser

Favorite Part of Puppy Raising: I love watching puppies learn as they grow and mature from the time they are small. It is very rewarding to see puppies connect with and understand commands over time, such as waiting to eat when a food bowl is placed in front of them. I also enjoy the affection I get to share with puppies as a dog lover, myself.

Favorite Memories with BluePath: Attending the annual Walkathon was a wonderful experience. I was able to meet puppy raisers and adoptees from all over the country at this big community event. It was so nice seeing the impact the dogs have had on families’ lives. Some raisers even organized a dog playdate which was fun to see.

Words of Wisdom for Prospective Puppy Raisers: As a puppy raiser, I think it is important to take it slow and be patient while raising a puppy. In the beginning, they are like babies that need to be taught and watched. Rewards such as treats, praise, and a positive tone of voice elicit good responses from the dogs. Exposing puppies to different environments and socializing them will help them learn.

What Volunteering with BluePath Means to Her: Raising puppies is a rewarding experience for me as I am able to do something positive for the greater community and spend time with dogs. I was inspired to raise a puppy for BluePath after observing the impact dogs can have on people. I have seen how therapy dogs in hospitals bring joy and smiles to patients’ faces and raise their mental outlook. I have also witnessed the struggles of a family member on the spectrum. It is wonderful to know that dogs can help families raise children in a more relaxed environment and lift their spirits.

Fast Facts About Jena:

Where She Lives: Wappingers Falls

Dream Vacation Spot: Portugal and Spain. Particularly the Azores. I love history, architecture, and a mingling of cultures. I enjoy city, countryside, and seaside landscapes.

Favorite Hobbies: Reading, listening to music, and hiking.

Favorite Food: I love to eat foods from many different cuisines, but I especially love seafood.

Fast Facts About Paula:

Favorite Toy: Benebone chew toys, which have withstood a lot of vigorous chewing.

Silly Traits: After saying hello, Paula will lick your hand and then lie flat on her back for belly rubs. She is very friendly and affectionate with everyone.

Fun Facts: Paula can polish off the food in her bowl in a matter of seconds. She will keep licking her bowl after it is empty.

Three Words that Describe Paula: Affectionate, energetic, and cute.

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