Sunday, December 5, 2010

December Puppy report

Greg and I attended the December SE Guide dog meeting this afternoon at HEB Central Market in Houston. There was lots of hustle and bustle with holiday shoppers!
Everyone was excited to get a chance to play with the 3 new Labrador puppies in our group, and, to see how much they had grown and learned during their first month in Texas.  It's hard to believe they are just over 3 months old and already weigh in at 25-30 lbs! 
This black/tan Lab pup is appropriately named Houston!  His puppy trainer is Cindy. Cindy is an experienced puppy raiser. In October, Cindy had to return Ranger, a Golden Retriever puppy that she had raised for 12 months, back to Florida for final harness training - then to be matched in service with a visually impaired candidate.It didn't take long for Cindy to get a new puppy to raise... pup Houston arrived in November and Cindy already has him off to a great start.
This black Lab is named Little Star. Her puppy raiser is Cynthia. This is Cynthia's first time raising a puppy, and Little Star is already giving her a run for her money. Little Star is a sweetie, but a hand-full!
This blonde Lab is appropriately named Sunshine. Her puppy raisers are Michael and Meredith. This is their first time as puppy raisers, too, and they are doing a great job with Sunshine.  Sunshine suffers from motion sickness when she rides in the car, a topic that got alot of discussion at the meeting today. 
 Little Star and Sunshine were litter-mates. They were sooo happy to see each other at the meeting today so they had to spend a few minutes getting reacquainted before we got started.

The purpose of the monthly puppy raising team meetings are for progress evaluations and to discuss issues, share problems, experiences, etc. Today the new pups were evaluated on the first month's basic commands:  sit, stay, and come.
Houston shows off how well he can STAY...
Sunshine getting a little assistance with SIT...
Bruce, a black lab, is almost a year old. He did very well on his evaluations today, despite the distraction of the 3 new puppies in the room. His puppy raisers are mother-daughter team Sue and Christie. Bruce will be surrendered back to Florida for harness training and placement in early March.
But all work and no play doesn't get you very far... For these pups, there is alot of love and praise to go around. Here, Carol, our area coordinator, gets affection from Little Star. 

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The start of our journey

Greg and I have decided to volunteer to raise a puppy for Southeastern Guide Dogs. They are a non-profit group that breeds, trains, and matches service dogs with visually impaired clients free of charge.

We were lucky enough to find a satellite group of this organization based in the Houston area and we have been meeting with them for a couple of months now. Greg and I are "in-training" for the next few months to familiarize ourselves with the rules and guidelines for puppy raising for this organization.

We look forward to receiving our first puppy in March 2011 and we plan on sharing our experiences along the way. Stay tuned for more updates as we embark upon this rewarding journey....

If you are interested in becoming a puppy raiser, donating towards sponsorship of a service pup, click here Sit Stay Give or if you want to know more about this organization, click here or on the group's logo picture below to be directed to the SE guide dog website.
(all photos from SEGD website)


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