Ms. Wagner and her service dog CLAUDE up for award

Spanish teacher Elizabeth Wagner and her service dog CLAUDE. CLAUDE helps her with everyday tasks. Photo by Isaiah Heinz.

Spanish teacher Elizabeth Wagner’s service dog, CLAUDE, has been nominated for an award from the nonprofit Paws4People foundation. 

CLAUDE, the softest member of Riverside’s faculty, is a four-year-old Golden Retriever who helps Wagner with certain mobility tasks. 

“CLAUDE is my assistance dog,” said Wagner. “He helps me with different mobility tasks that I can’t easily do on my own, so overall, just makes life easier.” 

Wagner has been with CLAUDE for just over four years. 

“I’ve had CLAUDE since I was a sophomore in college,” Wagner said. 

CLAUDE and Ms. Wagner have been nominated for the People’s Choice ADDIE award. It’s named after one of the original Paws4People dogs, ADDIE. The dogs who are chosen for the award are the ones who follow in ADDIE’s footsteps the most. 

To vote, Riverside students and staff can send a donation to the Paws4People foundation and tell them which dog and its owner you want to vote for. However much money you donate will be matched into votes for your chosen duo. 

As a nonprofit, Paws4People doesn’t charge for service animals, but it takes significant time and money to prepare a dog to assist its owner at work. 

“They place all of their service animals at no cost, and their training is valued at close to $60,000,” Wagner said. 

Wagner and CLAUDE are currently in first place with 942 votes. To learn more about the award and cast your own vote, visit the Paws4People website. 

Simply select the photo of Ms. Wagner and CLAUDE, fill out the information, and vote.

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