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The exterior of the Polk Residence and Training Center on a sunny summer day. It's a large brick building with big windows visible in the photo. Several cars are parked near a set of glass doors

Polk Residence and Training Center

The Polk Residence and Training Center is our clients' home during all on-campus training as they learn to work with their new Leader Dogs or white canes. Each client has a private room with access to a fenced-in outdoor yard and pea gravel relief areas for the dogs, enclosed pens for the dogs to play when off leash, and an outdoor pavilion. There are private rooms for 24 clients and several instructors, who stay on campus while working with their class.

Each private room is complete with its own bathroom, television, climate control, telephone, internet access and mini refrigerator. Once clients have received their Leader Dog, the dog stays in the room with them for the remainder of training.

The Polk Residence Center includes several areas to enhance our clients' stay on campus. The exercise room includes treadmills, a nautilus machine and stationary bikes. The library is stocked with books in Braille and on tape along with many descriptive movies. There is a piano and a guitar in the music room and screen readers and computers in the computer room.

A popular place to relax is the residence staff area, which has several vending machines, a microwave and hot beverages during the day. Residence staff are available to assist clients with any needs that may arise while they are at Leader Dog.

The client dining room is another popular location in the Polk Residence Center because, as our clients say, it's home to great food. Once the clients receive their dogs, the dogs accompany them to all meals in the dining room, where they are taught to lie quietly under the table during the meal. Special diets are not a problem for our food service staff, and all meals are cooked on-site, with many recipes being the creation of our own skilled cooks.

Tour the Residence with Client Jeff Hawkins