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Washington State University

People and Puppies

Senior Abbie Rose Fiano raised future service dogs and built her own future at WSU.

Since she was a freshman in high school, Abbie Rose Fiano has raised puppies to prepare for their future as service dogs.

“It was so much fun,” Fiano said. “So when I came to WSU, I joined the chapter here.”

Fiano, a senior in human resources management from Vashon Island, Washington, was club leader and puppy raiser for the Pullman chapter of Guide Dogs for the Blind, a nonprofit that trains dogs to help people with visual impairments. The chapter became inactive in May.

“WSU offers so many opportunities, and even though it’s a big campus it feels really small.”

“The dogs get so much exposure on college campuses, and it’s good exposure for the college students who may not have dealt with service dogs before,” Fiano said. “It’s a little bit of training for the people and the dogs.”

Following WSU’s closure after spring break due to COVID-19, Fiano moved back to Vashon Island. She said being at home while taking classes was much more distracting.

“It was challenging finding a new schedule and not being able to work with friends or classmates in person at first,” Fiano said. “But I think we’ve all found a new normal and have been able to work around most of the challenges of being online.”

Fiano participated in residence hall government as a freshman, later becoming a resident advisor. She also worked for the Carson Center for Student Success and joined the Society for Human Resource Management, where she became director of corporate relations.

“WSU offers so many opportunities, and even though it’s a big campus it feels really small. You see familiar faces every day,” Fiano said. “I’m really excited to be able to apply my skills post-graduation.”

Fiano said raising puppies helped her understand that she was more of a people person and decided to pursue a business degree. She chose human resources because of its flexibility, she said.

“I knew I wanted to work with people and I knew I wanted to do something with business, and there are so many career paths that come out of HR,” Fiano said. “It’s really important to be able to understand what each position in a company does and how those positions work.”

After her Dec. 12 graduation, Fiano will start a position as an area manager for Amazon in Seattle.

Alysen Boston