Alyson Galow '17: Collar Scholars

March 12, 2021

Alyson Galow '17 and Limerick; scenes from Carroll's Collar Scholars Club


Four years ago, the Class of 2017 had an honorary member who didn't talk much but was very popular.  Limerick was a puppy being trained by Alyson Galow '17 to be a service dog.  Alyson brought Limerick into her classes to familiarize him with public settings and prepare him to help people with disabilities.

In 2021, Alyson has continued her love of animals and desire to help others by co-founding Collar Scholars at Carroll College where she is a senior majoring in Anthrozoology.  This new club at the Helena, MT private college is comprised of students who assist in raising puppies who will eventually become assistance dogs through Canine Companions for Independence, a nationally affiliated, non-profit organization that provides service dogs for people with disabilities, free of charge.

The club is new, but Alyson and co-founder Ashley Wilt "have been participating in Canine Companions for the past five to six years having raised seven puppies between them," according to a news article on the Carroll website.  "The Collar Scholars receive 8-week-old puppies that they train in over 30 different commands and behaviors over the course of 18 months. Once they complete their 18-month training, the dogs return to Canine Companions in California, where they complete their professional training to be an assistance dog." 

“The Carroll campus has been an excellent place to begin this club since it is already so receptive to dogs from multiple different groups and programs," says Alyson.  "A huge part of this welcoming is due to the Anthrozoology program fostering a sense of curiosity for the human and animal relationship among campus members. Additionally, it has been wonderful to be offered access to the PCCC Training Room as well as spaces like the Cube when needing a space for practicing skills and commands with the dogs.”

Learn more about the Collar Scholars Club in this Q&A with Alyson and Ashley or by checking out their Facebook page

The club has received positive attention lately, including a front page story in the Helena IR and television interviews on ABC Fox Montana and KTVH.  And why not, since these puppies are so darn cute!