Doggy Diaries – Puppy Raisers – My heart is so full…

How do I begin to talk about puppy raisers…I guess I’ll just grasp whatever words come to me. The day I went to the GDB website, I started learning everything about the process, about how the dogs are raised from birth to be our eyes. It was immediately apparent to me that THE most important part of the dog’s lives, they’re “adolescent years” if you will, is the puppy raisers.

These people…man I wish I could convey how choked up I am thinking about them, these people first of all must love dogs. How could you not love dogs and do what they do? These are volunteer families who take in puppies from the school after they have been weened from their mothers. The purpose of this transition, is to start showing the dogs what is like “out there”. Puppy raisers take the dogs places, and the puppies get to wear vests that give them the same rights as guide dogs. Therefor, they can go with their raisers to school, work, restaurants, stores and even the rodeo and buses, as I just read on some blogs.

The dogs can live with these volunteer families for up to a year and a half, and its there, that they learn how to be used to the kind of life they’ll lead when they get matched to their blind person. The volunteers attend meetings and get support from the school and they must just fall in love with these dogs. And then…they have to give them up!!!

Can you imagine…training this darling dog and then giving it up, how gut wrenching! But these people, these selfless people, know how important these dogs will be to someone like me who needs eyes. They know what an amazing thing they are doing, at least I hope they do. So they set aside the pain they know they will feel down the road. Its like being a surrogate mom. But, then the “puppy truck” comes back, and they get a new puppy! And sometimes, if the doggy just isn’t quite made to be a guide, the raiser family can take him back! And, these people can go to the graduations at the school and meet the blind person to whom this amazing dog, a dog they helped raise, will go to, to be a guide, a companion, a friend, a source of comfort, for a blind person.

I had read all about them and listened to the podcasts and was so impressed with these people. Today I talked to Cortney and she told me how to go about searching for blogs on here. So I typed in “guide dog” and found Toby’s blog. How cool it was to read about a raiser and her charge. And then, jackpot! A whole list of other raiser blogs!!! I became a follower of each and every one so I can read about the dogs and their lives before the go back to “college” to learn to be a guide. I’m so thrilled and ecstatic! I was bummed after I got all the info I could off of GDB’s website, because there was no more to read, and now I’ve found these blogs.

Thank you, puppy raisers…thank you for your contribution to these dogs becoming eyes for people like me. My braille teacher is off to school to get another dog, and I can’t wait to meet him/her.

I think I’m done writing, when I’m filled with gratitude, its so hard to get my feelings across, and I just bumble my words. =D

6 Comments

Filed under Doggy Diaries, gratitude, misty eyes, puppy raisers

6 Responses to Doggy Diaries – Puppy Raisers – My heart is so full…

  1. Thanks for visiting my blog, and thanks for your kins words about puppy raisers! What we do is hard, but we also all love it and get so much out of the experience ourselves.

    You asked about the phases (for example the last puppy I raised is in phase 10 of formal training)… at GDB there are 10 of them. Raisers get a weekly report about their dog and what phase they are in. There is a list on the GDB website and also in our puppy raising manual that describes what takes place in each phase, so it is fun to think of your dog doing all the amazing things described!

    I will have to catch up more on your blog, but good luck to you in your journey! Who knows, maybe you will get matched with Douglas!

  2. R

    You know, I told my friend about Douglas and how it would be so crazy if I got matched up with him! I’m now reading all your blogs about him. I’m down to Thanksgiving, reading in reverse order 😉 I’m definitely enjoying reading blogs; it feels like such a good way to spend my down time. I have no idea of the time frame of when I’d get to school, other than that if I don’t make it in Jan or Feb, I’ll need to wait until next fall, yikes! If I get there, and am not matched up with Douglas, maybe I’ll at least get to meet him! I sure hope he makes it, and I look forward to keeping up on the updates!!

    Oh, I tried to follow No Bones About It, but they’re set up is really complicated, which makes me laugh, since I’m sure screen reader users would enjoy it. Also, thank you for including descriptions with your photos!!

  3. Such a touching post and I agree with you. As a guide dog user, I am in awe and appreciation each day for these incredible people who raise these puppies. I am so happy to have found your blog, too.

  4. R

    Hi Becky!

    I re-read my post after I published your comment, and i got choked up all over again haha! So good to meet you!!

  5. This is such a touching post. It reminds me of why I raise puppies. I am on my second puppy, Betsy, and my first puppy, Gabrina, is in formal training at GDB.

  6. R

    Hi Maddie!

    Pleasure to meet you. I always wonder if I would get matched with some of the dogs I read about. Gabrina is such a cool name!

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