Senior Sara Keedy, a dental hygiene major, was featured in the Wheeling News-Register recently in a Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014 article written by Shelley Hanson, staff writer. Keedy, a resident of Mount Olivet, W.Va., attends classes at West Liberty with her faithful service dog, Noel.

Sara Keedy, Noel and Calliannie Reidenbach are shown in Shaw Hall.

Sara Keedy, Noel and Calliannie Reidenbach are shown in Shaw Hall.

She expects to graduate this May and work as a dental hygienist.

Noel, a Black Labrador/Golden Retriever mix, assists her with travel and duties, since she is wheelchair-bound due to a spinal cord injury.

Service dogs assist people with disabilities. With special training these dogs can help mitigate many different types of disabilities. They can be trained to work with people who use power or manual wheelchairs, have balance issues, have various types of autism, need seizure alert or response, need to be alerted to other medical issues like low blood sugar, or have psychiatric disabilities.

These specially trained dogs can help by retrieving objects that are out of their person’s reach, opening and closing doors, turning light switches off and on, barking to indicate that help is needed, finding another person and leading the person to the handler, assisting ambulatory persons to walk by providing balance and counterbalance, providing deep pressure, and many other individual tasks as needed by a person with a disability.

Everyone on campus enjoys seeing Noel and Sara as they go about their day on the Hilltop.

To read the complete article, “Noel is a Big Dog on Campus at West Liberty University,” please click here.