Please join me in welcoming two new raisers and three new puppies to the Bradenton Puppy Raiser Group of Southeastern Guide Dogs Inc.
From left to right in the photo below we have new raiser Vicky J. and her pup, Keni. Repeat raisers Lis H. and Linda P. co-raising little Ava, and new raisers Ruby and Art C. with their new puppy, Indy.
Keni, 5I14, is a yellow, male Labrador, born on April 5, 2014 in the Legion 1 x Connie litter. He was sponsored by the Junior League of Sarasota and was named in honor of Keni Thomas, former United States Army Ranger, who was the speaker at the Legacy of Valor Celebration Lunch, November 2013.
Ava, 2M14, is a black, female Labrador, born on April 26, 2014 in the J.R. x PADS Tully litter. She was sponsored by the walkathon team, Team Ava which was lead by Deb Knowles. This puppy was named in honor of her sister, Ava. Ava was very sick before she died, and was limited in her activities, but one of her favorites was puppy hugging at Southeastern Guide Dogs.
Indy, 7K14, is a yellow, male Labrador, born on April 14, 2014 in the GDB Joplin x Charity litter. He was sponsored by our Bradenton Puppy Raiser Group and was named Indy, short for Independence, which is what we hope he will eventually offer someone as a working guide dog.
All three of these adorable pups have many lessons to learn and a lot of growing to do before they will be ready to head off to college for their formal training as working guide dogs. Along the way they will be given lots of love, lots of guidance, and what sometimes feels like a zillion corrections/redirection. Puppy Raisers learn their own lessons along the way such as, patience, persistence, and the amazing skill of juggling leashes, busy bags and treat bags all while keeping an eye on their often distracted, playful pup.
|Little Ava having a play date with group pup, Bobb.|
One more dog joined our group recently, but she is not really a puppy, so I did not include her in the group above. I recently took on the job of "finishing" a pup named Penny. As the name implies, "finishing" a puppy refers to completing the raising process when the first or original raiser cannot.
Penny, 2APD14, is a female Golden Retriever born on February 1, 2014. She is from the Patriot x Omni's Jet Set litter. She was sponsored by the Financial Dept. of Southeastern Guide Dogs, who coincidentally also sponsored and named Cash, the puppy who I just finished co-raising with Helen H. who is presently In-For-Training.
I can't prove this theory, but I believe that the puppy raisers in my group can learn from and possibly enjoy watching their Area Coordinator struggle with some of the same issues they are going through as we all work to raise the best guide dog candidate possible.
Until next time, enjoy your puppy walks, practice your obedience, and remember to stop and smell the grass, sticks, moss, leaves, and lizards along the way.