Raising a puppy for Guiding Eyes for the Blind is a real gift of love. A puppy is not born a guide dog, but created through the dedication and commitment of an entire team of individuals. The Puppy Raiser is the pivotal member of that team.
Our network of puppy raisers includes a broad spectrum of caring individuals from various walks of life. They include couples, families with children, young adults and senior citizens. Some already have pets of their own. Raisers live in urban, suburban, and rural areas – and in apartments, town-homes, and single family homes. Sixty percent of our raisers are repeat raisers – meaning they have raised more than one Guiding Eyes puppy. We are extremely proud that so many raisers enjoy our program enough to renew their commitment to raise another puppy. A few have raised as many as 35 puppies!
The relationship and bond between the raiser and pup will become the foundation for all the life lessons a guide dog needs to master. Raisers provide hours of patient teaching and numerous socialization journeys over a 12 to 16 month period, before they return a well-socialized young adult dog to Guiding Eyes training staff.
All of the raiser’s hard work culminates when a blind person receives their priceless gift – a guide dog providing independence, companionship, and mobility.