GDB’s puppy-raising volunteers are an integral part of our life-changing work. They volunteer their time and heart 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Raisers receive a puppy when they are about 8 weeks old, teach them good manners, and provide socialization experiences 12 to 15 months of the pups’ lives until they return to our campuses for formal training. The depth of their commitment is extraordinary. It’s common for many of our puppy raisers to raise 5, 10, 15, 20, or more guide dog puppies over a 10-to-30-year span.
In late July, we held celebrations on our California and Oregon campuses to thank our amazing raisers for all they do. And in honor of our 80th anniversary, we went back to the 1980s with a “Bark to the Future” theme! Think Madonna, neon colors, Rubik’s Cubes, mullet hairdos, and parachute pants!
Each campus’ festivities included lots of fun games, engaging booths, a guide dog training demonstration with plenty of time for Q&A, puppy pawprint art, a scrumptious lunch, and of course, puppy deliveries! Fun Days are not only an opportunity for our puppy raisers to gather for a day of camaraderie, but they also give us an opportunity to thank our raisers for all they do to support our mission.