When Guiding Eyes for the Blind puppy raiser Lorraine Trapani was faced the incredible loss of her husband, she struggled to rebuild her life. Several years passed and Lorraine delved deeper into a place of despair until one day, a friend of hers who had attended a graduation at the school suggested she consider raising a puppy. Lorraine thought about it, but didn’t do anything until months later when she met a Guiding Eyes volunteer who spoke about how these “puppies with a purpose” transform lives in their eventual careers as guide dogs.
Lorraine shares, “Her words resonated with me and I saw that raising a future guide dog was a way to honor my husband’s courage, strength and fight to live. At that point, I had no idea that just by raising a puppy I would find my own way forward.” Enter Merrick, Lorraine’s first puppy. With his unconditional love and companionship, Merrick provided her with greater independence and the desire to live life to the fullest, just as he would eventually do for his partner who has both vision and hearing loss. Lorraine is currently raising her fourth guide dog for Guiding Eyes and still marvels at how meeting Merrick made all the difference. Now both Lorraine and the graduates who have received her well-prepared dogs are tackling all of life’s adventures, big and small.