Ranger was born on January 31st, 2018, in North Carolina at Project 2 Heal. He was drafted to New York on April 2nd to begin his BluePath journey. He accompanied puppy raiser Saxon Eastman to Madison Square Garden daily and grew up alongside the New York Rangers hockey team.
Ranger (the “OG hockey pup”) started a trend for NHL teams to foster service dog puppies - raising enormous awareness for how service dogs support individuals with disabilities.
Ranger ultimately decided not to be a service dog, yet found incredible purpose as a skilled companion for 16 year old Dan Zarro. Ranger will be Dan’s best friend - and a provider of love and joy for an entire family.
As Saxon describes below, “Ranger’s skilled companionship will immeasurably improve life for the whole family. There is no doubt that with [the Zarro family], Ranger will live his best and most purposeful life.”
Congratulations to our sweet Ranger, to Saxon and to the Zarro family!
A Perfect New Beginning
by Saxon Eastman
I know it’s the offseason, but really big things have been happening in Ranger’s world.
As you all know, Ranger is a super sweet, loving, intelligent, deliciously derpy Meatball. He can learn a new skill in the blink of an eye, nap like no other, and when he’s happy he rubs up against your legs like he’s a cat. Despite all of this and so much more, Ranger doesn’t have the correct temperament to be a full autism service dog. This determination is something that I have been expecting for awhile now.
If my past experience as a puppy raiser has taught me anything, it’s that the right path will reveal itself if you let it. I can’t stop smiling because Ranger has found a new “job” and the most perfect adoptive family. This family has a child with autism. And though this particular child does not need a service dog, Ranger’s skilled companionship will immeasurably improve life for the whole family. There is no doubt that it is with this family that Ranger will live his best and most purposeful life, and for the first time in my years of puppy raising, all the dogs I’ve raised are placed and where they’re meant to be. It’s a pretty incredible feeling.
I love you 24 trillion times more than you could ever possibly imagine, Rangey. My happy ending is your perfect new beginning. 💛