Eastern Sierra Guide Puppies, the local puppy raising club for Guide Dogs for the Blind, has a new member. Yellow Labrador Retriever Jenner arrived in mid-November and is being co-raised by Vickie LaBraque of Bishop and Meghan Miranda of Mammoth Lakes. He is the first Guide Dog puppy for both his raisers.
Eastern Sierra Guide Puppies club meets regularly in Bishop and Mammoth Lakes, and the group takes the puppies on socialization outings all around the Eastern Sierra. Puppy raisers receive the pups when they are between 8 and 10 weeks of age, and raise them for approximately a year, at which time they return to the organization for their advanced training.
The club is always looking for new puppy raisers, puppy sitters and club volunteers. “Raising a Guide Dog puppy is such a fun and rewarding experience,” said club leader Betsy Thomsen. “You can actually make a wonderful difference in the life of a visually impaired person by being involved in our program.”
Puppy raisers teach their pups basic obedience, socialize them and train them to be good canine citizens by introducing them to new experiences.
The pups are returned to Guide Dogs for formal guidework training when they are 14-18 months old.
Following the completion of the training, the dogs are matched with their visually impaired partners. The new person-dog teams completes an intensive in-residence course culminating with a graduation ceremony at which the puppy raiser presents the dog to their new partner.
Guide Dogs for the Blind has been creating life-long partnerships by providing Guide Dogs free of charge to visually impaired individuals since 1942. The organization receives no government funding, but depends entirely on private donations.
Additional information on Guide Dogs for the Blind may be obtained by visiting www.guidedogs.com