Saturday, June 6, 2015

Archie and Cooper Michael

Back in January 2014, we introduced two new puppies that just happened to be brothers, Archie and Cooper Michael.  And so began their journey as future guide dog candidates.

Cooper Michael
Their puppy raisers were patient, consistent, loving, and kind and worked hard to teach them their basic commands and introduce them to new places, new people, new things, and before they knew it it was time to send these pups off to college on In-For-Training day.
Archie and family at college send off.

Cooper Michael and his raisers on IFT morning. 

Both Archie and Cooper did well at college and each month I was able to send good training reports on to their raisers.  Six months later, I was very happy to make one of the best phone calls an Area Coordinator can make:  "Your puppy has been matched in the current class and you are invited to attend Puppy Raiser Day."   The brothers started together, went to college together, and now would be graduating together. 

Puppy Raiser Day begins with the raisers hearing a short biography on the person their puppy was matched with and also receiving a plaque in honor of their contribution of raising the puppy.   It is a bit nerve racking to sit through as you tend to be anxious to see your pup again and also a bit nervous about meeting their new handler.

Next you get to stand off to the side and watch as the pup and their new handler walk a route. Sometimes the pups seem to be aware that they are being watched and they may also be catching the scent of someone they knew and loved. 

Archie begins his route.
Archie checking out his admirers. 

Archie showing off his guide dog skills. 
Watching Archie work from the sidelines. 
Cooper begins his route. 

Cooper may have smelled his puppy raisers!

Cooper and his new handler showing off their teamwork. 

Watching Cooper work. 

Finally, after what feels like a lifetime, the puppy raisers get to meet their pup's new handler and they get to reunite with the puppy they raised.  If you have any doubt that your pup will remember you, rest assured they will...

Archie certainly remembers Preslie. 

Preslie and Archie happy to see each other again. 

Archie watching his puppy raisers approach. 

Mickey and Archie getting reacquainted.

Cooper couldn't wait to say hello to Meisha. 

Cooper is happy to see Joe again also. 

Cooper and Joe. 

Visiting and enjoying each other's company. 

Joe and Cooper. 

Cooper had not forgotten Richard either.
Although our puppies are diligently taught to keep all four paws on the floor and not to jump, during Puppy Raiser Day those rules are briefly allowed to fly out the window.  The pups are just too excited, and are allowed to show and share their joy through their exuberance.

Cooper Michael


Class 235 - with brothers Archie and Cooper Michael

Please join me on congratulating, Collin with Archie and Tom with Cooper Michael, on their graduation from Southeastern Guide Dogs, Inc.  We wish you happy, safe, and joyful journeys together going forward. 

My heartfelt thanks go out to the special raisers of these wonderful dogs. Without you these great new teams may not have come together.

No comments:

Post a Comment