I always knew there would be a puppy #3, but I definitely did not expect that he would be “America’s” puppy. When I raised my first dog for Guiding Eyes while at Boston College, I thought for sure I was raising the most well known puppy ever. Boulder was the only Guiding Eyes dog on campus, and everywhere I went I would hear, “There’s Boulder!” With 10,000 college students cooing over him, it certainly felt like Boulder was famous.
Last week, puppy #3, Wrangler, had over 13,000 Twitter followers within twenty-four hours. My nine-week-old puppy was putting Boulder’s humble fame to shame. As puppy raisers, there will always be someone approaching us wanting to learn more about our dogs. In the beginning they want to know if they can love on the cute little puppy, and as he grows, they want to know what the vest means and about the services Guiding Eyes provides. Puppy raisers are used to getting a lot of attention in public.
When I agreed to raise the Today Show puppy, I knew this attention would be magnified on an even grander scale. With his daily appearances on the Today Show, I have been receiving a lot of the same questions I have been accustomed to answering with my previous pups. However, the attention Wrangler and I have been getting has a fun twist to it. I never thought I would raise a dog that received a marriage proposal from another dog on a poster board in Rockefeller center, and who posed for pictures with movie stars. The request to “take a selfie with the Today Show puppy,” still surprises me every time.
Raising Wrangler will be both different and the same as raising my two previous dogs. The amount of time, effort, work, love and pride will all be the same, but the two of us are in for some remarkable experiences over the next sixteen months. I’m so honored and grateful to have this opportunity to help bring awareness to guide dogs and puppy raising – and to support the organization and mission I am passionate about. Having the privilege of raising Wrangler along the way is the icing on the cake; I guess this is what it feels like to be the “mom” of a celebrity.
By Guiding Eyes staff member and puppy raiser Saxon Eastman