Getting a Guiding Eyes for the Blind Puppy in June
Saturday, April 19, 2008
I'll soon be getting my puppy, which will probably be a lab, from the Guiding Eyes for the Blind program. I will socialize the puppy with basic commands, proper house etiquette and lots of love with the support and training of the organization
MY FIRST QUESTION at the first meeting was "How can you ever give the dog up?"
The answer is that you assume responsibility for the dog realizing that you are helping it to make an invaluable contribution to the life of a blind person who could not get along without the dog's help. At graduation, the puppy-raiser gets an invitation to the graduation ceremony, gets to meet the life-long partner for the dog, and take home a picture of the new 'team' suitable for framing. Also, you can have a new puppy 'on order' before you give up the present pup.
There are many families with children who do this. Many families have multiple dogs. Children adjust to whatever situation to which they are conditioned/encouraged/helped to adjust. There are many teens and young people who do the puppy-raising, with the cooperation of their parents.
As for myself, I am 65, live alone and at my age cannot, in good conscience, make the necessary 15 year commitment to an animal. This way, I invest a specified amount of time (18 months) and in the process, get to help a new puppy go happily to a home where it will be loved, cherished, rewarded and a very valuable part of the new owner's life.
PLUS - I get to WALK that dog twice a day, rain or shine, no excuses! (That will be the puppy's very valuable service to me! :)
I just got an email from the program director who told me that I'd be assigned to a puppy litter very soon. The puppy I'll be getting has already been born. They carefully place individual pups in the home that is right for the pup/puppy-trainer, after the 'home visit'.