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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Puppy Update!

Dutch is now an official LEADER DOG!

*****happy dance*****

Here is the email I received from Leader Dogs for the Blind:

Dear Puppy Raiser:

The puppy you raised has been issued to a student in the current class.  This is no guarantee of graduation however, it is another step in the training phase and hopefully if all goes along as planned we will soon be able to let you know of the puppy's graduation.  We are happy to offer you a chance to visit with the student in the Polk Residence Facility.  Please meet in the lobby of the Polk Residence Facility at 6:30pm on March 29, 2014.  This will be for you and your family only.  You MUST RSVP by 3/26/14 if you are attending so we can make sure the student has every opportunity to attend also.  It is their choice though and they may choose not to attend.  If that is the case, we will make every attempt to contact you.  If for any reason you would rather not meet the student or cannot make the class, rest assured we understand (but please respond)

It is very important that this be a positive experience for both our students and you, our puppy raisers who have given so much of your time, effort and love.  Keeping that in mind we are sending you some basic guidelines to follow.

1.         We ask that you not take flash photos until you have checked with the student or us.  Some eye conditions are negatively affected by sudden flashes of light and in extreme cases may even contribute to a seizure.

2.         We know the dog has spent a year in your home however it is now "their" dog and we ask you to respect that.  Do not take the dog out of their possession.

3.         You may bring gifts of photographs, letters, and appropriate toys.  The guidelines for toys are the same ones we use when raising the puppies.  Please make sure that the toys are large enough not to cause a potential hazard. Please do not bring any “edible” bones as they may cause stomach upset in the dog.

4.         The students will come into the conference center and have a chance to settle their dogs.   They will introduce themselves to the group.  After they are all finished you will have the opportunity to meet them individually.

5.         We expect the dogs to be VERY excited to see you again and have tried to prepare the student for the dog's reaction.  Once the initial greeting is over, the student will be giving the dog instructions to assist the dog in settling down and will expect the dog lay quietly during the latter part of your visit.

6.         We ask that if you are currently raising another puppy that you not bring it with you to the Polk Residence.

7.       We ask that you be careful with what information you share about the puppy.  While you know your puppy has grown in stages into a wonderful adult,  Comments like "I can't believe he made it through training", and "he chewed on things when he was younger" are comments that will cause the student who is still bonding with this new dog to have questions about whether this is the right dog for them and ultimately cause them to ask for a new dog.

8.         While we realize you are emotionally investing into the puppy that you raised, please keep in mind that you are here to meet the team of both student and dog.  Questions about where they will work together, how are you enjoying your stay at Leader Dog are appropriate questions to ask.

We again thank you for your wonderful gift of time and love you have given to this special puppy.  We look forward to seeing you at visitation.
                                                            Sincerely, Puppy Development

A small golden retriever puppy is sitting on a snowy sidewalk looking at the camera. He is wearing a blue bandana with a white triangle with red letters that say Future Leader Dog and has a black paw print. A leash is hanging from is collar.
A very young Future Leader Dog. Very proud of you Dutch!

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