I hadn’t intended to take a blog break. I had intended to make all the writing prompts over at Write Alm, but I took a detour. We are puppy raisers for Southeastern Guide Dogs. If you aren’t familiar with what a puppy raiser does, it’s pretty simple to explain. We take a puppy from SEGD and for a year or so, we teach them basic commands and house manner. We take them everywhere with us so they can learn how to behave in different situations because when they are guiding someone who is sight impaired, they need to be prepared for any environment. Anyway, we have had Freyja since she was seven weeks old. Normally they don’t go home with raisers until they are closer to twelve weeks old, but she came from another guide dog school has part of an exchange and they didn’t want to risk cross contamination in the kennels, so we got her as a tiny puppy. Eventually, there comes a time when we have to take the puppies back to school so they can start and complete their formal training. We call that IFT (In for training). That day came for Freyja on Jan. 11. At this point, she had been with us for fourteen months, and even though puppy raisers know that the puppies we raise aren’t ours, it it still tough to give them back. (Even if it is for a wonderful reason!) Joel was very, very attached. Those two pretty much spent 24/7 with each other, so I knew that this one would be pretty rough. (Freyja was our second puppy. Cindi, the first one, is a working guide dog now!) The evening before, we went out to Emerson Point to take her last ‘formal’ photos, just as we did with Cindi. Here are two of my favorites
On the 11th, we returned to turn her over. It was a bittersweet day and I got a few shots, but this one does me in, every single time. Joel is saying a “See you later.” She is a breeder evaluate, so there is a possibility that we would be her breeder host while she has puppies. We are keeping our fingers crossed.
If you are so inclined and you want to support Southeastern Guide Dogs, please visit www.guidedogs.org They operate only on donations and don’t receive any government money. There is no cost for a person who receives a dog from SEGD, but it costs approximately $70,000 from birth to placement. SEGD also provides service dogs for Veterans who suffer from PTSD. IT really is a great organization and I am proud that my husband works there and that we are puppy raisers. We are waiting for a new puppy as we speak.