Meet 10 Guide Dog Puppies for National Puppy Day!

 In News, News & Events

In celebration of National Puppy Day on March 23, we are excited to share with you ten of our adorable puppies with a purpose. Each of these paw-sitively precious pups currently lives with their volunteer puppy raiser as they grow & learn on their journey to become a working guide dog.

What is a puppy raiser? A puppy raiser provides the foundation from which one-half of a successful guide dog team is made. These essential volunteers raise a Guiding Eyes puppy by providing the pup with the love, socialization, house manners, and basic obedience it will need to succeed in guide dog training. Click here to learn more about puppy raising.

Meet ten of our adorable guide dog puppies:

Ira, a black lab wearing his newly acquired blue training vest, sits between his two puppy raisers and looks eagerly toward the camera.

Hello, my name is Ira!

A.K.A Ra Ra Bean, Beanie Baby

Ira’s three favorite things:

  1. Chewing a bone
  2. People
  3. Fun Outings

Puppy Raisers: Jessie Burgess and MeKalea Chambliss

Region: Central NY Puppy Raising Region

How many puppies have you raised: “7th puppy raised” -Jessie, “17th puppy raised” -MeKalea

Favorite thing about raising: “Watching the puppy grow and explore the world around them.” -Jessie, “Being able to give back to the world using my passion for animals / helping give people greater independence.” -MeKalea

Yellow lab puppy Jenkins lays on a grey dog bed while wearing his blue puppy program bandana.

Hello, my name is Jenkins!

A.K.A. J, J-Man

Jenkins’ three favorite things:

  1. Tug Toys
  2. Cuddles with Finn (my raiser’s personal dog)
  3. Walks

Puppy Raiser: Mark Hemans

Region: Central NY Puppy Raising Region

How puppies you have raised: “Jenkins is number 2. [I] previously raised his mom.”

Favorite thing about raising: “I like watching the dogs become more comfortable with new and different objects and environments.”

Liam, a yellow lab puppy, sits in the snow and looks toward the camera while on a walk on a winter day.

Hello, my name is Liam!

A.K.A. Chicken Nugget, Prince

Liam’s three favorite things:

  1. Tug
  2. His friends from Guiding Eyes: Imus, Elijah, Forest, Howard, and Eleanor
  3. Treats!

Puppy Raiser: Lexi Bickel

Region: Leatherstocking NY Puppy Raising Region

How many puppies have you raised: “Liam is my first puppy!”

Favorite thing about raising: “My favorite thing about raising is the joy that both you and your puppy feel when you successfully do a command or you make a breakthrough on a command you both initially struggled with! I am so grateful to have such a patient and smart puppy like Liam! Puppy Raising also means to help and work with your region, my region really works together as a team to make sure all of our puppies and puppy raisers are successful, I think that’s super important!”

Photo Credit: Serinah Palafox

Black lab puppy Queenie sits attentively in the grass yard beside a bed of white tulips that are just beginning to open.

Hello, my name is Queenie!

Queenie’s three favorite things:

  1. Cuddling
  2. Playing with her toys
  3. Eating

Raiser: Debbie Dugan

Region: Bay Puppy Raising Region

How many puppies have you raised: “I have raised one puppy prior to Queenie.  Her name is Cammie and she is Queenie’s mom.”

What puppy raising means to you: “Raising a puppy for GEB has been a fun, educational, and challenging experience.  It is a great way to give back and GEB has been very supportive in helping to make that happen.”

Black lab puppy Quince practices resting in a down position on the wood floor while on a flat collar and leash.

Hello, my name is Quince!

A.K.A. Quincey

Quince’s three Favorite Things:

  1. A romp on the beach
  2. A visit to the farm to see the horses
  3. My 3 meals a day

Puppy Raiser: Sharon Boyle

Region: Bay Puppy Raising Region

How many puppies you have raised: “I’ve lost count, 9 or 10.”

What puppy raising means to you: “it’s incredibly rewarding and a special privilege to have the opportunity to be a small part of making the world a better place for someone else.”

Black lab puppy Rumor sits on the pavement and looks up at the camera. Rumor wears a white bandana with a green car pattern for St. Patrick's Day.

Hello, my name is Rumor!

A.K.A. Good Girl

Rumor’s three favorite things:

  1. Food
  2. Playing with toys
  3. Playing in the snow

Puppy Raiser: Jill Robinson

Region: Capital NY Puppy Raising Region

How many puppies have you raised: “1 pup 3 years ago.”

Favorite thing about raising: “I love watching the pups grow as individuals seeing their confidence blossom.”

Sophie, a black lab puppy, sits in the snow and looks toward the camera with a thoughtful expression.

Hello, my name is Sophie!

Sophie’s three favorite things:

  1. Her Kong Wubba
  2. Ice Cubes
  3. Her friend Maggie, the springer spaniel

Puppy Raisers: Camille & Hannah Clifford and Deb Dik

Region: Maine Puppy Raising Region

How many puppies have you raised: “25+” -Deb, “Sophie is our tenth pup for GEB, and we knew we wanted a really special girl!” -Camille

Your favorite thing about raising: “I love to see them learn each new lesson when they ‘get it’.” -Deb, “Combining my love for dogs with a service like GEB means the world to me!!  I just love raising these pups, it fills my heart and soul with something that’s hard to describe!!  And the wonderful friends we’ve made over the last 12 years because of this, is quite amazing!! And the friendships forged with recipients of both dogs we’ve raised as well as other recipients just bring a new texture to our lives that I’m very grateful for!!” -Camille

Tinsel, a black lab puppy, looks attentively toward the camera while standing on the grass. Tinsel's name is visible on her black collar.

Hello, my name is Tinsel!

A.K.A Tinsie

Tinsel’s three favorite things:

  1. Soft tug toys
  2. Playing with a ball in the back yard
  3. Going on walks

Puppy Raiser: Melanie Roberts Bergmann

Region: Westchester County Puppy Raising Region

How many puppies you have raised: “2 (Tinsel is the second one)”

What puppy raising means to you: “It’s a privilege to be able to work with such amazing dogs who will go on to make a difference in people’s lives. I’ve also enjoyed meeting so many wonderful people at GEB through puppy raising!”

Yellow lab puppy Token sits quietly on the carpeted living room floor.

Hello, my name is Token!

A.K.A Token of Love, Lucky Token, Golden Token

Token’s three favorite things:

  1. Eating frozen kibble from his Kong
  2. Learning new commands
  3. Playing tug of war

Puppy Raiser: Rachel Bohn, with assistance from her family members

Region: Westchester County Puppy Raising Region

How many puppies have you raised: “Token is our 4th puppy.”

Your favorite thing about raising: “I absolutely love raising these puppies for Guiding Eyes. They amaze me every day how smart they are and the eagerness they have to learn.  I love that we become this little bonded team together, and then watching them learn and explore the world.”

Vero, a black lab puppy, sits in the grass on an outing to a beautiful local garden.

Hello, my name is Vero!

A.K.A. Scooter, V-Man

Vero’s three favorite things:

  1. Playing tug
  2. Chasing a ball
  3. Snuggling in your lap

Puppy Raisers: Michelle McCullough and Holly Voelker

Region: Baltimore Puppy Raising Region

How many puppies you have raised: “Vero is my 8th puppy for GEB and the son of the last puppy I raised, Pablo” -Holly, “Vero is my 3rd puppy” -Michelle

Favorite thing about raising: “I have met so many people through my volunteer work with GEB who I now consider friends.  It’s an added benefit that I didn’t expect when I became a puppy raiser.” -Holly, “My favorite experience is meeting all of the amazing people and puppies associated with GEB. GEB is definitely a unique group of people with the same goal for these beautiful puppies. I have made some very good friends along the way.” -Michelle

Graduate Jasmin and black Lab guide Osagraduate Fred and yellow Lab guide dog Linus
X