When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.”Today's #LightTheWorld topic: Jesus Helped Others to See, and So Can You. When I read this topic, I knew immediately how I would participate, and I imagine that if you've been reading my blog for a while, you could guess, too.
|Photo: Black lab guide dog puppy Willow|
Though I am not actively raising a guide dog puppy at the moment, I am still involved with the local puppy raising club, and highly recommend checking out www.guidedogs.com. Guide Dogs for the Blind has puppy raisers in the following states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Texas, Utah, and Washington. However, the clients who receive working guides are not restricted to those western states. I love the fact that the guide dogs are provided at no charge to the blind recipients. In fact, there is no charge for any of the services; the clients' transportation to the campus for training is also provided, for example.
The number one objection I hear from people about raising guide dog puppies is, "I could never give them up." Yet most of these people are parents, whose children do grow up, do move out, and do go on to pursue careers. Having a guide dog puppy leave my home is much like sending a child to college. I missed my children when they left home, but that didn't keep me from raising them!
|Photo: We send Reno back on the puppy truck, and pick up Drexel|
Raising a guide dog isn't a decades-long commitment; the puppy arrives at about 8-9 weeks old, and stays in the home until it is about 14-18 months old. At that point, it returns to the campus of Guide Dogs for the Blind, and the raiser can either receive another puppy right away, or take a little break from raising. The responsibility of puppy raisers is to socialize the puppies and teach basic obedience. The puppy clubs train the puppy raisers. No experience is needed to become a puppy raiser--just willingness to learn and follow protocol.
|Photo: Guide dog puppy Deedee walks in sand|
Here is a short video from Guide Dogs for the Blind about puppy raising: