Hi, I’m Christie White and I’m excited to be part of the UDS Service Dogs team and work with all our wonderful volunteers!
I began my journey with United Disabilities Services in 2014 as a Supports Coordinator for the Adult Autism Waiver Program. As UDS employees, we were given the opportunity to meet the new puppies coming into the Service Dogs Program; as well as see the older dogs progress in their training. I knew this program was one I was interested in getting involved with when the timing was right.
In 2019 my husband retired from the Pennsylvania State Police, which afforded me the opportunity to become a full time volunteer in the community. At this time we also lost our beloved Italian Mastiff after twelve years and I knew the time was right to begin my journey volunteering with the service dogs program. After completing my training and becoming familiar with the techniques and expectations of the program, I took on my first puppy, Kolben. Kolben spent his first eight weeks of training in our home. It was exciting to see him develop the skills to become more confident and independent. Kolben was dubbed the mascot of my son’s ice hockey team and loved getting on the ice and chasing pucks after the games. Kolben warmed our hearts, and kept our hearts pumping with his endless energy. I was grateful for the help and support the UDS team provided as I took on my first puppy; however, they did not warn me that I would cry more the day I dropped him off to continue on his quest than I did when I dropped my boys off to college.
As the world changed in 2020, we had the blessing of being able to bring several dogs into our home. It is always fun to watch each one settle in and to be able to see the different personalities of each come out. Ian spent his first several months of training with us and several other dogs have come and gone within this time; all bringing light into a somewhat dark time. I like to refer to Ian as the calm after the storm. He was a blessing to our family as we gathered in our home for the quarantine and provided endless entertainment and love in an uncertain time.
Since this time, I have had the pleasure of working with several dogs and look forward to helping in my new role as the Volunteer Coordinator. I feel truly blessed to be a part of this program, and I am forever grateful for the help and support the staff provides. I look forward to the future and the next adventure it brings.