Puppy #22 turns a year old today. The birthday of a Seeing Eye puppy is always bittersweet. Of course, we want to celebrate the milestone, but it also means that his time with us is almost done. We have taught him all we can. He knows all the basic commands, how to behave in public, and has pretty good house manners. He’s been exposed to people of all ages and all sorts of places. There really isn’t much more we can do. But it’s sad to know he’ll be leaving soon.
I mean, sure, he has made me question our decision to raise another puppy–several times. But I’ll still miss him. Once he’s in training at The Seeing Eye, he’ll learn everything he needs to know to be a successful guide and will make us proud. And while a blind person may not be able to see how gorgeous he is, they’ll know what a great dog he is.
January 29 is also the birthday of The Seeing Eye, Inc. They turn 89 today. A lot has changed in those 89 years but a lot hasn’t. Originally, puppies were not raised in homes, but in kennels. As #22 looks at me from his comfy spot in the family room, I’m sure he is happy about that change. Perhaps the biggest changes have been in the training of the families raising these amazing puppies. The Seeing Eye’s success rate is higher than ever, and that is credited to the work the families put into each puppy, and that comes from the great training we all receive. (I’m not only saying this because I used to do that job!)
So, for the next few months, we’ll keep doing what we do and wait for the dreaded phone call. When I did that job, families often called me Cruella just because I had to pick up their puppy for training. This will be my first puppy returning for training with someone other than me. That will be strange. But I will refrain from calling my coordinator Cruella – I get it.
Happy Birthday, #22 & The Seeing Eye, Inc.! You both are very special!
Visit The Seeing Eye’s website and see the amazing things they are doing, wish them a happy birthday, or even better, give them a present! You can find them at http://www.seeingeye.org