Humans of BluePath: Saxon Eastman, Puppy Raiser

Saxon and Ranger at Madison Square Garden.

Saxon and Ranger at Madison Square Garden.

How it All Began: It all started in college when my roommate decided she wanted to raise a puppy and I agreed to tag along to an orientation to see the cute dogs. The next thing I knew, I was signing up to be a puppy raiser! A graduate speaker at the orientation told a story about how a her service dog saved her life when she was about to walk into a busy street. I was so impressed by the dog’s capacity to play such a meaningful role in someone’s life. Less than a year later, I got my first puppy.

Favorite Part of Volunteering for BluePath: BluePath is such a wonderful organization to volunteer for! I would have to say that my favorite part is probably the awesome people. I’ve raised puppies with three different schools, but BluePath is the only one that truly feels like a family. At this year’s walkathon, so many people came out in the pouring rain to show their support for BluePath’s mission and to be with one another. I think that’s a testament to how strong the BluePath community really is.

Favorite Part of Puppy Raising: There are so many parts of puppy raising that I love, it is difficult to choose just one. I have never experienced anything as wonderful as a graduation day, when you see the dog that you raised with his or her graduate, making a difference and giving someone their independence; It’s the most incredible feeling in the world. I can’t compare it to anything else.

Advice for Prospective Puppy Raisers: Puppy raising is something you really want to think about before diving into. It takes a lot of time and energy. However, I can safely say that you give a lot as a puppy raiser, but get back so much more in return. So many amazing things have come from my decision to raise puppies. I have made so many wonderful friends, it changed the course of my career, gave me a way to give back to the community and has made me the person I am today.

Fast Facts:

About Saxon:

  • Where She Lives: New York City  
  • Dream Vacation Spot: Nashville or L.A.
  • Favorite Way to Relax: Cooking

About Ranger:

  • Nickname: Rangy (Rain-gee) or Meatball (since he was a really round, pudgy puppy!)
  • Favorite Hang Out Spot: Madison Square Garden
  • The Awesome Path Ahead: Ranger will be training with the New York Rangers to learn the skills he needs to become an autism service dog. He and the team will grow stronger together and make a lasting difference in the life of a child with autism. Go Blue!
Ranger (aka Meatball)

Ranger (aka Meatball)