By: Revanche

Puppy Love (or is that Puppy + love)?

June 29, 2010


Back in high school, a friend decided to raise a guide dog puppy for her senior year volunteer task. The first time she brought him to school, because you have to take them everywhere, I almost died over how cute he was.

In the last few months of his training, I’d finagled dog-sitting duties during the class periods that she had to be away for sports practices. Math class was never so tolerable as when there was a darling Labrador retriever sprawled under my desk.

Ever since, I’ve been secretly plotting to raise a guide dog puppy someday. It’d be perfect: the dog would grow up to help people, I would get a really cute puppy for a while with a license to go anywhere. Win-win!

Actually, I’d really like to raise a therapy dog, but that’s a little more hit or miss; you can’t guarantee that a dog will be a suitable companion for that kind of thing but it feels like the right thing to do if you luck out. 

The NY Times featured some of the programs that train guide dog puppies as well as service dogs for veterans.

Veterans Helped by Healing Paws
———————————-
Canine Companions for Independence Veterans Program
America’s VetDogs
Neads Canines for Combat Veterans

Image from cci.org

6 Responses to “Puppy Love (or is that Puppy + love)?”

  1. It’s quite a job to raise and train a guide dog. Also, not everyone will let you bring the animal in, no matter what the law and basic ethics say.

    One admin assistant who worked at GDU’s west campus was into training guide dogs. When she brought the dog to work, she was informed that she was to stop it. When other employees rallied and pointed out to the dean that the law says guide dogs are allowed in public buildings–and in fact, that was posted on the front door–she was then told that if she brought the dog into the office again, she would be fired.

  2. L.A. Daze says:

    I’d love to do this…but I can’t imagine the heartbreak once it’s time for the dog to go to his new family.

  3. ctreit says:

    I can’t see myself having a dog in the house despite the pressure from other family members. But I can see raising a guide dog. I think doing something like that will make everybody in my family happy. Thanks for alerting me to this opportunity!

  4. Shelley says:

    My partner, Bill, manages a residential care home for patients with mental health problems. They adopted a dog. The problem was that everyone wanted to walk it, to feed it, to play with it. The dog was up for all this but it was exhausted. He slept in the staff room, but with no consistent single carer, no one knew when he had last eaten, rested, walked, etc. He finally found another home and hopefully, some peace and quiet!

  5. Fig says:

    That is such a very cool idea. I would love to learn how to do this and then train dogs for other people. I love dogs.

  6. Revanche says:

    @Funny: *smh* of course GDU would set a shining example in that regard, wouldn’t they?

    @L.A.Daze: It IS sad … but … I don’t know, I guess it’s like fostering a dog which I’d like to do too. You’re a temporary home and you get to help them on to a good life.

    @ctreit: Oh I don’t know, this might make your family want their own dog forever as well. 🙂 But are you just not a dog person?

    @Shelley: Oh poor pup! We had a hospital dog where I once worked and got all kinds of attention as well, but his care was always rotating so people would take him home for the weekends, or he’d be assigned to the same rotation as pets in hospital.

    @Fig: It’s not easy and not all dogs pass but it seems to be worth the effort.

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