Narrator: When people think of Guide Dogs for the Blind, the first thing that comes to mind is usually our dogs. But, Guide Dogs for the Blind is just as much about amazing people as it is about amazing dogs.
Guide Dogs for the Blind depends on the loyal support of thousands of volunteers to achieve its goals.
Our Puppy Raisers are amongst our most dedicated volunteers. Many of them have actually raised multiple puppies.
What is it like to raise a Guide Dog Puppy? A warm bundle of fur is passed into the eager arms of a puppy raiser, welcomed into a loving family and home, introduced to classmates, clubmates, and community.
A Guide Dog puppy raiser provides a loving home where the puppy is socialized in a wide variety of situations, all of which prepare our puppies for formal guide dog training.
In fact, here at Guide Dogs we are fond of saying, "It takes a puppy to raise a community."
Our raisers do much more than raise puppies. They also share their puppies and their talents with a variety of members of their communities.
Raiser: "As a member of the Guide Dogs Speakers Bureau Program, my puppy and I visit various Lions Club Chapters and speak to members about our organization."
Raiser: "For the past several years, my puppy raising group and our puppies have visited the students at the California School for the Blind. We really enjoy giving the kids a look at a future with a Guide Dog."
Raiser: "My grandma had to move to an elder care facility last year, so some of my club members and I started taking our Guide Dog puppies to visit her. Now when we go, all of the residents want to visit with the dogs!"
While not all of our puppies go on to become guides, many go on to impact the community in remarkable ways: As companions for blind youth, as search and rescue dogs and hearing dogs, and as dogs that can detect hypoglycemia in diabetics and even cancer.
Regardless of their final role in the community, raisers are always asked one question:
Raiser: "The question I always get asked is, 'How could you give up your puppy?'
The fact is, it is really hard after you've spent the last year with this dog at your side. But when you see your dog with its new blind partner, and see the confidence and independence that person has with the dog by her side, you realize 'How could I NOT?'"
Narrator: For more information about becoming a puppy raiser, call us at 1-800-295-4050.