Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A Guiding Eyes Beginning

When we lost Aspen last June, we were all terribly devastated.  Cameron perhaps took it the worst, and even now, I will find him with tears in his eyes thinking of precious memories.  For a while we thought we just wouldn't get another dog, but then all of a sudden things changed and we all (even Jeremy!) began wanting the presence of a dog in the house.  We wafted back and forth between wanting to rescue and adult dog to wanting a fancy purebred puppy and after many months of searching and researching, finally settled on fostering a guide dog puppy.  I remember a girl in high school who did this and I was always jealous of her experience, and I've known several others who have raised puppies for Guiding Eyes for the Blind and loved it.  A big part of our decision came down to the fact that Jeremy wanted a puppy and I wanted this new pet to be a family dog- not "his" or "hers" and I knew if i talked him into getting a dog he didn't want that it would always be "my dog."  Also, we thought this would be such a great opportunity to teach the kids about an act of service that will completely change someones life.  When we finally did look into it, everything just fell into place.  There are only a few areas in Virginia for puppy raisers to meet and for us it was right in our county.  Also, they only hold the pre placement classes a couple times a year and they were starting a new one up the very next week.  It just felt right and we all began to get excited.  At this point, we have all (even the kids) finished the placement classes and are just waiting for our puppy who will come the end of March or beginning of April.  He will be a male lab and that is all we know.  Until then, we have to do some "puppy-sits" with other guiding eyes dogs so that we can use the training we've received until we get our own dog.  This weekend we kept 6 month old Margie who was such a doll!  She was very well behaved and great with the kids and did great with us novices.  I think we were more afraid that we would ruin her!  Now we are more anxious than ever to get our own dog.  Everyone that we have told we are doing this asks the same question, "how are you going to be able to give him up?"  The answer is that we just don't know.  I am sure it will be terribly painful but we hope also terribly rewarding, enough that we will want to do this again and again.  Who wouldn't want an adorable puppy as a constant in their home?  And the pass rate for these dogs is only 45%, so there is a chance that we will be able to keep him in the end if he is a complete failure :)


Kristy said...

What a great thing for your family to do! I've always been interested in training service/therapy dogs but I'm not sure I could handle giving them away after all that work! Have fun! :)

Anonymous said...

So excited for you guys! Your home will be perfect for this.

Angie said...

So nice to see the boys so happy with their new friends!