Top 10 List for Guiding Eyes Dogs
For the past six years, our family of five has raised puppies for Guiding Eyes for the Blind. Our high school senior is currently raising our family’s third dog. The first was placed with a visually impaired person who lives in Michigan. The second is serving with a Vietnam vet, in New Jersey. Our third, a black Lab, is scheduled to go to “puppy college” in February, where she will undergo intensive training and be eligible to begin a career as a service dog in the August time frame.
In addition to this, we take in pairs of younger puppies once a month (5-10 weeks old), to socialize them and get them comfortable with the home environment, human touch, difference smells, sounds, surfaces and help prepare them for the day they will go home with someone to be raised in preparation for service as a guide dog. Next weekend, for our daughter’s birthday, we will get two 5-week old lab pups for 5 days, in time for her and her friends to have a royal puppy party.
We also sit for people who, like us, raise guide dogs and need to take one-day to one-week vacations, where they can’t take their dogs. Like substitute teaching, we get a note that goes out to all trained and eligible “sitters” telling us the dates a sitter is needed. We can respond, if we are available to help, or not.
Following are my top 10 reasons why we love raising, socializing or sitting for Guiding Eyes dogs:
10) The dog costs me nothing
9) Any mileage, toys, food, or other related expenses are tax-deductible
8) My whole family gets premier training for dog care for free
7) All veterinarian care is free
6) I never worry if the medical care the dog is getting is what it actually needs
5) There is always someone just as trained as I am ready to care for the dog for free, in case I need to go away
4) I can always say, with a heavy French accent, “Zat eez not my dog.”
3) I never have to see my beloved pet deteriorate and make difficult end-of-life decisions
2) My children get to be part of something much bigger than us our or family, and learn to do something for others
1) We help provide dignity, freedom and a better life for someone in need.
Interested in volunteering for Guiding Eyes? Learn more about our volunteer opportunities here.