Goodbye, Ion! Hello, Jetson!

Marist students are eager to pet the newest four-legged War Eagle!


Photographer: Ms. Laura McGregor

Jetson, Ms. Laura McGregor’s new service dog in-training, smiles for the camera.

By Maggie York, Staff Writer

There is a new member on the Marist campus. He has four legs and will not hesitate to jump on you. Meet Jetson, our new furry friend!

After being off-campus for nearly six months, many have missed the sight of Ion, the service dog who was training with Dean of Students Laura McGregor ‘01 greeting students and faculty as he strutted down the halls. But with Ion completing training this past spring, McGregor welcomed Jetson, her newest trainee, to campus. 

According to McGregor, Jetson has completed his first phase of training at Marist and has moved onto advanced training. Jetson is a testament to the success of the program, as he “is learning how to close drawers, fridges, pushing buttons, and even how to carry things,” said McGregor.

Jetson’s training began in July, and he has 18 months to learn 33 commands that are broken up into different segments based on his age. Jetson is also increasing his socialization skills while around Marist students, faculty, and staff as he meets new people. He is learning to keep his composure while out with McGregor. As he makes his way down Marist’s undoubtedly noisy and chaotic hallways, he must remain calm to prepare for life in the real world.

After Jetson completes this preliminary and advanced training, he will be evaluated for his future partner placement. His options include team training, helping partners with disabilities or hearing impairments, and even serving in courts of law.

McGregor said her favorite part of training service dogs is  seeing it “click” when they learn a new trick and seeing the wheels turning in their heads. On the other hand, her least favorite part has been saying goodbye to Ion and sending him off to a new trainer. 

Although it is certainly hard to say goodbye, McGregor encourages anyone interested to try dog training. McGregor explains that, after starting as a puppy sitter, one may pursue dog training courses at many colleges and universities, including the University of Georgia.

Marist students are thrilled to have a furry face around in the hallways. Welcome to the Eagles Nest, Jetson!