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Celebrate National Puppy Day 2024!

To celebrate National Puppy Day on March 23, we’re delighted to present ten adorable puppies, each accompanied by a dedicated puppy raiser. This year, we’re showcasing their journeys by unveiling their Facebark profiles. Here, you can read about their growth and learning experiences alongside their volunteer puppy raisers as they progress on their path to becoming working guide dogs.

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.


Screenshot of a Facebook profile of Carson, a young male black Labrador Retriever puppy. The banner image features Carson reclining on a lush green sports field, with a bright yellow tennis ball resting beside him. In the profile picture, Carson is depicted lying down, gazing earnestly at the camera. Bio: Little paws, big dreams. Loveable and Playful. About: Works at the Guiding Eyes for the Blind Eastern Massachusetts Puppy Raising Region. Lives in Harvard, Massachusetts. From the Guiding Eyes Canine Development Center in Patterson, New York.

Meet Carson

Carson, also known as Carsiboo, embodies the perfect blend of lovable charm and mellow temperament, paired with an insatiable cuddliness and a playful spirit. The black Labrador puppy’s favorite activities include carrying things in his mouth, chewing on his cherished bones, and, most importantly, spending time snuggling with his family. His adorable snoring during naps adds a touch of endearment to his already irresistible persona. Raised in Harvard, MA by the Voute family (with assistance from co-raiser Kerry Lemrise), Carson marks the family’s second foray into the enriching world of puppy raising with our Eastern Massachusetts Puppy Raising Region. 

The journey of raising Carson has been a fulfilling endeavor for the Voute family, highlighting the profound impact that training and nurturing a guide dog puppy can have. They embarked on this path seeking a family-oriented way to contribute to the greater good, finding the perfect match in puppy raising. This activity not only aligns with their love for dogs but also accommodates their full schedules, making it a meaningful commitment for the entire family. 

For those considering taking on the role of a Puppy Raiser, the Voute family shares valuable advice: cherish the journey with your puppy. Emphasize enjoyment and patience over striving for perfection. This journey is as much about learning and growing together as it is about preparing the puppy for their future role as a guiding companion, making every step along the way a lesson in love, patience, and the joy of giving back. 


Yellow lab Hazel's Facebark page imitating the look of a Facebook page

Meet Hazel

Hazel, affectionately known as Haze, is the embodiment of warmth and joy on the University of Delaware campus. This gentle yellow lab puppy’s favorite pastimes include basking in the sunny spots around campus, enjoying the rare snow days to the fullest, and embarking on exploratory adventures outdoors, making her a well-loved figure among students and faculty alike. 

Hazel’s journey of growth and learning is guided by Owen Barbrack, a UD student and first-time Puppy Raiser in our Delmarva Region. Raising Hazel has been a journey of discovery and fulfillment for Owen. He marvels at the transformation Hazel has undergone from the initial days of her arrival; her swift adaptability and eagerness to learn have made every training session a testament to her intelligence and Owen’s commitment. 

Despite the intricacies of managing puppy raising responsibilities alongside academic commitments, Owen finds deep joy and motivation in Hazel’s daily progress. This experience has not only enriched Owen’s college life but has also prepared Hazel to eventually enhance the life of someone in need of her guidance and companionship, embodying the spirit of service and community that defines the University of Delaware. 


Black German Shepherd Kettle's Facebark page imitating the look of a Facebook page

Meet Kettle

Experienced Puppy Raisers Patty and Jim Doyle embark on their latest adventure with Kettle, a female black German Shepherd puppy known for her adorable appearance, sweet demeanor, boundless energy, and loving nature. Whether she’s engrossed in a game of fetch, enjoying tummy rubs, or accompanying the Doyles on their explorations, Kettle is a constant source of joy and companionship. As the ninth puppy the Doyles have raised in our Southwestern Connecticut Region, Kettle continues the tradition of preparing guide dogs for a life of service. 

Patty and Jim’s path to becoming Puppy Raisers was sparked by a serendipitous blend of a suggestion from a friend with vision loss and along with an encounter with a Guiding Eyes puppy. Each puppy raised by the pair has reinforced their passion for the program and deepening their understanding of dog behavior. For the Doyles, puppy raising is an opportunity to foster independence and open new doors for someone in need, making every effort worthwhile. 

Patty and Jim’s advice to new raisers is to think proactively, ensuring a safe and nurturing environment that encourages good behavior. But beyond the responsibility and foresight required, they remind new raisers to embrace the love, joy, and fulfillment that come with raising a puppy. Kettle, with her vibrant spirit and affectionate heart, exemplifies the profound impact these dogs have—not just on their future owners, but on the families who help shape their early lives.  


Black German Shepherd King's Facebark page imitating the look of a Facebook page

Meet King

King, affectionately known as Kingster, Kingy, and the King of Hearts, is a male black German Shepherd puppy whose charm and bravery shine bright. His adventurous spirit and affectionate nature make him a beloved member of the puppy raising community in our Southwestern Connecticut Region. King delights in playing with his tennis ball, pouncing joyfully in the snow, and engaging in canine fitness activities. 

Raised in Yonkers, NY, King is the seventh puppy entrusted to the care of his dedicated Puppy Raiser, Jessica Walsh, who finds deep fulfillment in witnessing the transformation of these dogs from playful puppies to confident and skilled guides. For Jess, puppy raising transcends the act of training; it’s a profound journey of contributing to someone’s life. This experience is enriched by the community and friendships formed along the way, alongside the incomparable companionship of a furry friend. 

With a deep love for dogs and a commitment to volunteerism, becoming a Puppy Raiser was an easy decision for Jess. The joy of seeing a previous pup succeed as a guide dog fuels her ongoing passion for the organization. For those new to this rewarding endeavor, Jess’ advice is to embrace the journey, focusing on the positive impact these dogs will have on their future handlers’ lives. Remembering the end goal during challenging times can help realign and inspire and serves as an excellent reminder of the profound difference raising a Guiding Eyes puppy. 


Screenshot of a Facebook profile of Melon, a young female yellow Labrador Retriever puppy. Melon's banner image captures her seated on the sidewalk, her head turned curiously to the side as she gazes at the camera. The profile picture features Melon being cradled by two smiling women, all facing the camera with joyful expressions. Bio: Cuddle Queen of Cornell. Go big red! Adventurous and goofy. About: Works at the Guiding Eyes for the Blind Fingerlakes Puppy Raising Region. Lives in Ithaca, New York. From the Guiding Eyes Canine Development Center in Patterson, New York.

Meet Melon

Meet Melon, also known as Mel, Melly, and even Chunky Monkey. This cuddly and clever yellow lab has captured the hearts of her Puppy Raisers, Casey Dies and Emory Walsh of our Fingerlakes Region. Melon’s days are filled with endless cuddles, playful rendezvous with her fellow puppy friends from Guiding Eyes at Cornell, and the kind of naps that are only made better by her adorable snoring.

Raising Melon marks the second chapter in Casey and Emory’s puppy raising career, an experience that has taught them the incredible impact these dogs have—from the challenging early days of potty training to the triumphant moment of seeing their pup confidently stride in a harness. Witnessing Melon’s growth and anticipating the significant role she’ll play in someone’s life fills them with unparalleled pride and a deep sense of purpose. 

Their advice to new raisers is heartfelt: leverage the incredible support network within the Guiding Eyes community. Their experience, from daily queries to their foundations instructor with their first pup, Paisley, to constant communication with their regional team about Melon, underscores the value of our Puppy Program community. For Casey and Emory, puppy raising is not just about nurturing future guide dogs; it’s about growing alongside them and being part of a larger, supportive family.  


Black Lab Quinlan's Facebark page imitating the look of a Facebook page

Meet Quinlan

Quinlan, also known as Quin-man and Quin-Quin, is a curious and smart black lab puppy in our North Carolina Region who captures the heart of anyone he meets. With boundless energy and a disposition that radiates happiness, Quinlan’s world is filled with his favorite things: the taste of kibble, the thrill of tug or fetch, and the loving presence of his raiser family. 

Having raised 14 puppies (12 with Guiding Eyes), Tamara Flinchum, Quinlan’s volunteer raiser, brings a wealth of experience and love to Quinlan’s upbringing. For Tamara, the essence of puppy raising lies in the community and the shared journey of growth and discovery. She cherishes the deep connections formed with other raisers and the joy of socializing Quinlan, where every outing can turn into an opportunity to meet others and exchange stories. Transitioning into puppy raising after the loss of her beloved first pet, Tamara found a fulfilling way to heal and give back, ultimately finding a unique joy in raising puppies that could change someone’s life. 

Tamara’s advice to new Puppy Raisers is simple yet profound: Embrace every moment of your puppy’s journey. The path of raising a guide dog puppy might seem daunting at first, but it’s filled with countless opportunities for joy and growth. By taking the time to play and connect with their puppies, raisers can make a lasting impact, not just on the puppies’ lives but on their own as well. 


Screenshot of a Facebook profile of Raquel, a young female yellow Labrador Retriever puppy. In Raquel's banner image, she stands in the snow, presenting her side profile with her head turned towards the camera. The profile picture shows Raquel seated in snow-patched grass, wearing a Guiding Eyes bandana, her gaze directed towards the camera with a sense of warmth and curiosity. Bio: Syracuse University’s freshest frosh. Go Cuse! Cute and cuddly. About: Works at the Guiding Eyes for the Blind Central New York Puppy Raising Region. Lives in Mohawk, New York. From the Guiding Eyes Canine Development Center in Patterson, New York.

Meet Raquel

Raquel, AKA Rock, Rocky, or Quel, is a lively female yellow lab puppy who is capturing hearts across Syracuse University. Her irresistible cuteness and cuddly nature make her a favorite among students and faculty alike. Raquel’s world revolves around her simple pleasures: enjoying her kibble, playing with her fleece braided rope, and chewing on her Wishbone Nylabone, bringing joy and laughter to everyone she meets. 

Raquel is being raised by Gianna Frank in our Central New York Region. This adventure marks Gianna’s first experience as a Puppy Raiser, a decision motivated by her desire to find a fulfilling purpose during her college years. The puppy raising experience has also introduced Gianna to a supportive community of peers, who are always ready to lend a hand or share advice, creating a network of friendship and support that extends beyond puppy training. 

Gianna’s choice to become a Puppy Raiser reflects a commitment to helping others and a passion for making a difference, one puppy at a time. Raquel is not only a source of joy and companionship for Gianna but also a beacon of hope for the future individual she will assist. 



Yellow Lab Rindy's Facebark page imitating the look of a Facebook page

Meet Rindy

Rindy, also known as Rin or Rindy-Rou-Who, is a spunky and sweet yellow lab puppy with a penchant for oversized toys, belly rubs, and, of course, treats! Under the loving care of Lauren Doninger in our Southern Connecticut Puppy Raising Region, Rindy has blossomed into a smart and slightly silly pup, eagerly embracing her training and the challenges that come with it. Lauren, an experienced Puppy Raiser for Guiding Eyes, has nurtured eight puppies (including Rindy), on their journey to becoming guide dogs.

Lauren’s favorite part of this journey is witnessing the profound transformation at graduation—seeing a puppy she raised take confident strides in harness, guiding their handler. The joyous reunion post-ceremony reaffirms the deep bond formed during their time together and underscores the importance of their shared journey. For Lauren, puppy raising is not about giving up a dog but sending them off to fulfill a vital role, enhancing someone’s freedom and safety.

To new Puppy Raisers, Lauren emphasizes the importance of the positive teaching methods. By showing puppies the right actions to take, rather than focusing on corrections, raisers can build a foundation of trust and cooperation. This approach not only fosters a happier learning environment but also strengthens the bond between puppy and raiser, setting the stage for a successful transition to guide dog work.


Screenshot of a Facebook profile of Unity, a young female black and tan German Shepherd puppy. Unity's banner image depicts her sitting in the snow with a concerned expression, her gaze directed to the side of the camera, amidst the wintry landscape. The profile picture shows Unity on a hike, seated and facing the camera with a joyful expression, conveying happiness and contentment. Bio: Wisdom and wags, in perfect #Unity. About: Works at the Guiding Eyes for the Blind Rhode Island Puppy Raising Region. Lives in Charlestown, Rhode Island. From the Guiding Eyes Canine Development Center in Patterson, New York.

Meet Unity

Meet Unity! Affectionately known as Uni or Unicycle by her raisers, this adorable pup epitomizes the perfect blend of intelligence and affection. Her love for life is evident in her three favorite things: food, people, and her ball. With a sweet demeanor and boundless energy, Unity is on her way to becoming more than just a pet; she’s training to be someone’s guiding light. 

Behind Unity’s training is Miranda Joss, a compassionate Puppy Raiser in our Rhode Island Puppy Raising Region. With Unity as her third Pup on Program, Miranda’s experience shines through her approach to raising. Inspired by the guide dog community at the University of Rhode Island, Miranda took the leap into puppy raising, driven by the desire to make a meaningful impact. 

Raising guide dogs, for Miranda, is about savoring every moment. She emphasizes the importance of being present through all the ups and downs—acknowledging that each step, from mastering commands to overcoming the hurdles of potty training, is crucial in shaping a guide dog’s journey. Her invaluable piece of advice to newcomers in the field is to cherish every second with their furry charges, as these moments lay the foundation for a future filled with independence and companionship. 


black Lab Voyager's Facebark page imitating the look of a Facebook page

Meet Voyager

Meet Voyager, a male black lab with a heart as vast as his name suggests. Known affectionately to those around him as Voy, V, or Pumpkin, this clever pup has already shown a remarkable blend of affection, playfulness, and curiosity. Whether he’s cuddling up with people, gnawing on his beloved Benebone, or soaking up the sun during his naps, Voyager embodies the spirit of discovery and love.

Behind every great puppy like Voyager is an equally remarkable raiser, Alice Tylutki, from Cortland, NY. Alice, a member of our Fingerlakes Puppy Raising Region, finds the greatest joy in educating the public about guide dogs and relishing in the endless supply of sweet puppy cuddles. Driven by a compassionate desire to help others, she embarked on the rewarding path of puppy raising, aiming to contribute to someone’s independence, one guide dog at a time. 

Alice’s favorite thing about this journey? The incredible opportunity to watch these puppies evolve, coupled with the platform it provides to inspire and educate others about the invaluable service these dogs offer. To those considering taking up the mantle of puppy raising, she offers sage advice: “Take a lot of pictures.” As puppies like Voyager quickly grow, these captured moments become precious memories of a shared journey toward making a significant difference in the world. 


Screenshot of a Facebook profile of Wayne, a young male black Labrador Retriever puppy. Wayne's banner image shows him nestled in a dog bed on a porch, his gaze sleepy yet endearing as he looks towards the camera. In the profile picture, Wayne sits on a brick path, wearing a Guiding Eyes bandana, his expression radiating happiness and contentment as he looks directly at the camera. Bio: Welcome to Wayne’s World! Eager and intelligent. About: Works at the Guiding Eyes for the Blind NOVA-North Puppy Raising Region. Lives in Vienna, Virginia, From the Guiding Eyes Canine Development Center in Patterson, New York.

Meet Wayne

In the heart of Vienna, Virginia lives a spirited male black lab puppy named Wayne, or as he’s fondly called, Lil’ Wayne. His days are filled with joy as he indulges in his three favorite things: delicious treats, playful adventures with his cherished elephant toy, and the soothing comfort of puppy massages. Raised by Kim and Steve Fogel in our NOVA – North Region, Wayne marks the beginning of their journey as Puppy Raisers. 

Kim and Steve’s favorite aspect of this journey is witnessing Wayne’s interactions with the world around him. From people to new environments, every moment is a learning opportunity that paves the way for Wayne’s future as a guide dog. This experience has not only been a lesson in the importance of socialization but also a heartwarming glimpse into the potential impact Wayne will have in someone’s life.

Kim and Steve embarked on this path of puppy raising after the loss of their family labs, driven by a blend of love for dogs and a desire to contribute to something greater. They view raising Wayne as a perfect opportunity to extend their love and support, eagerly anticipating the remarkable guide dog he will become. Their advice to new Puppy Raisers is to embrace the imperfections of the process, leaning on the support of their community and remembering that every challenge is a step towards growth—for both Wayne and themselves.