One of the most enjoyable things about raising a puppy for Leader Dogs for the Blind is being able to take your puppy with you every where you go. Socialization is vital for a dog that will be working in the public.
If you think it would be great to raise a Future Leader Dog (FLD) puppy, you are right! But having a FLD constantly at your side carries its own risks. Here are a few things to consider.
ARE YOU SHY?
You will no longer be able to walk anonymously through a crowd. Well, perhaps YOU will be anonymous, but your FLD puppy won't be!
Faces of faculty at your stepdaughter's graduation will transform from solemn to cheery when their eyes fall upon your FLD puppy as they file past you to the stage.
The waitress at breakfast will tell you about her grandmother's dog, "We took care of Skip and at night everyone had to get up to tell Skip 'good-night' before he would go to bed to sleep."
You will assume that every third person you meet is a Lion's Club member--never will you encounter so many proud introductions.
ARE YOU PATIENT?
Adults who know better, and children who don't, will dive-bomb your FLD puppy with pets and goo-goo talk, without asking for permission. It can be a challenge to politely educate them about how to approach a working dog, while attempting to get your once-was-settled-now-energized puppy under control!
ARE YOU QUIET?
Questions never end. "How old is he?" "How long do you keep him?" "Do you have a dog of your own too? How does that work out?" "Do you have to train him?" "I could never do that--how do you give him up?"
After a gazillion times, it can become difficult to answer with enthusiasm, but never will you have as good an ice-breaker as your FLD puppy.
Raising a Future Leader Dog is a remarkable experience. It is fun, inspiring, entertaining, educational, and gratifying. You are never alone--the staff and volunteer network at Leader Dogs for the Blind are always available and eager to help.
Fill out your puppy-raiser application today!