A Friendly Face Around Campus

Canine Companions future service dog, Amicus, has become a friendly face around the campus of the University of San Diego. Students from the School of Law gave Amicus his name through a voting contest, and have followed him ever since on his journey to become a service dog.

Amicus appeared on campus throughout the 2023-24 school year with his volunteer puppy raiser, USD triple alumna Dr. Leslie Hennessy (MBA), (Ph.D. Leadership), (JD). 

“Canine Companions dogs are preparing for a life of service to a person with a disability. Amicus has shown his propensity for the work early as he serves the School of Law at the University of San Diego,” Leslie said.

Amicus provided extra support and comfort during high-stress law school midterms and finals weeks. He also happily attended the Dean’s socials and Christmas party, and he joined the Moot Court awards celebration.

Leslie and Amicus visited a class at the law school to present information on how the Americans with Disabilities Act applies to service dogs in public. The lecture focused on the importance of the law to Canine Companions clients.

“As law students better understand the mission of Canine Companions through Amicus, they join in supporting their classmates with disabilities, recognizing how service dogs are important supports for their colleagues with disabilities,” Leslie says.

Amicus was recently named a recipient of the Legal Clinics’ annual Graduation Awards as he was honored for his outstanding service to the Legal Clinics and the entire law school community.

Woman with a yellow puppy wearing a yellow vest talking to a student sitting on a bench

Attending these events throughout the year helped Amicus with socialization, outings with large groups of people and basic skills and manners, all to help prepare him for life as a service dog, assisting someone in need.

Amicus will continue to attend events on campus throughout the Summer and Fall of 2024. In August, he will welcome first year law students at orientation and will continue to support second and third year students. In November, Amicus will move on to professional training at the Southwest Training Center in Oceanside, CA. All of Amicus’ friends at the law school will be invited to attend his matriculation.

“The partnership between Canine Companions and the University of San Diego School of Law began with the premise that two great nonprofits could support each other and better accomplish their missions through collaboration,” said Leslie. “Amicus became the conduit for this partnership, representing both Canine Companions and the School of Law as he learns his role as a service dog.”