This week (August 7th-13th) is International Assistance Dog Week and I'd be remiss if I didn't mention this important time. As many of my blog followers know we are guide dog puppy raisers for Guide Dogs of America. We are currently raising puppy #2, Moxie, who will be turning one year old on August 29th.
I am often asked how I could possibly raise a puppy for eighteen months and then simply hand them over at the conclusion of that time. My answer; with difficulty. You see, it's not easy for any of our puppy raisers to turn in their dogs. We aren't born with tougher skin or less of a love of dogs. In fact, you have to really, really love dogs to be a part of this program because let me tell you, the dogs are going to test you. As someone who had to say goodbye to her first puppy all too soon (Patton was career changed at nine months) and start all over so quickly I can attest to the fact that it is very hard. However, the sleepless nights, endless walking, potty training, "leave its" and so on are one amazing gift and contribution we can make for someone else.
My drive is always fueled when I speak to a puppy raiser who has raised multiple dogs (our leaders have raised twenty) and even more so when I am privileged to hear the experiences of a guide dog handler. The bond between a guide dog and their person is something amazing and I'm proud to be a very small part in the overall picture. Guide dogs provide something that can never be given a price tag: freedom. So, really, who wouldn't want to help provide that very special gift.
If you are interested in raising a guide dog puppy, sponsoring a litter, or supporting in any way please visit GuideDogsofAmerica.org