January 29th 2015 is dedicated as National Seeing Eye Dog Day.
Guide Dogs, or Seeing Eye Dogs as they’re often called, provide support and independence to visually impaired individuals. Often, the companionship of the seeing eye dogs allows a visually impaired person to take many of their daily tasks back into their own hands. Suddenly a world that was always limiting a person is once again re-opened, and they’ve got a constant companion who is looking out for them at all times. The partnership between a trained guide dog and their person is something to behold, and it’s something I’ve always found incredibly powerful and fascinating.
The Guide Dogs for the Blind is an organization based on the West Coast that is passionate about serving the needs of the visually impaired. They are the largest Guide Dog school in North America, and provide services to students in the United States and Canada at no cost. The Guide Dogs for the Blind networks with dog breeders, raisers, trainers and more to provide highly skilled canines for service.
I’ve wanted to be a puppy raiser since I was 9 or 10 years old, it’s just something I’ve always known I would do. I always hoped I’d be able to raise a puppy during my college years, but that just wasn’t in the cards for me at that time. Since moving to Portland though, the idea of raising a puppy for Guide Dogs for the Blind has come to the forefront of my mind again. The Guide Dogs for the Blind has campuses in both California and Oregon, and because I follow them on facebook, I often see postings of their ‘puppy truck’ deliveries.
To make my recent temptation even worse, many of you probably know The Today Show has a Guide Dog Puppy In Training on set on their show. He’s been a part of the team for about two weeks now, and his name is Wrangler. He’s nothing short of adorable! Wrangler is on set of The Today Show each morning, but goes home with his own dedicated puppy raiser each night.
I do realize that puppy raising isn’t for everyone. I also completely acknowledge how difficult it will be to give back a puppy after having raised him or her for over a year. (Typically puppy raisers are with their pups from 8wks- 12 or 14 months) I think the ‘attachment factor’ is the reason that more people don’t puppy raise, and I don’t blame them. But for me, taking on that loss is OK, because I really just want to be involved in the bigger picture. I just know how proud I would feel if the puppy we raised went on to become a serving companion to someone who truly relied on them.
Luckily, there are plenty of ways that anyone can help out the Guide Dogs for the Blind mission! You can start by spreading the word about what GDB is doing. Monetary donations in any amount are always appreciated, or you can show your support by shopping in their online store. Volunteer your time, or even consider signing up to be a puppy raiser, like I am!
So I’d love to hear…have any of you raised a puppy for GDB before? Would you consider it?? Why or why not??
Bear & Scooter sure were camping comfortably on our last weekend adventure! We headed out deep into the Tillamook Forrest in Oregon, parked our car, and hiked out a ways to set up camp.
Bear was dubbed ‘Supervisor of Camp Set Up’ and dictated the entire tent set-up and general camp organization from the comfort of his QuikShade Pet Kennel. You may have seen in our recent Wordless Wednesday post, that Scooter barked out a few orders of his own! We had a great time camping with our dogs as we always do- more photos coming soon!
One of Scooters Christmas gifts this year was a dome bed from Doodlebug Duds. We picked it up for him at the Portland Saturday Market the Sunday before Christmas and gave it to him the same day. He’s literally barely left it since then- so we move it from the living room to the bedroom each morning and night to make sure he stays happy with his sleeping options
With a face like that, can you blame us?? We’d highly recommend these little cozy caves from DoodleBug Duds to any pet parent with small dogs or cats who love to cuddle up. Scooter feels so safe and secure in his personal little den, they are also fully machine washable and easy to lint roll and clean which makes this momma happy!
Wishing you all a great end of 2014, and a Happy New Year!
Bear loves a good food toy, and was so excited recently, when he was sent the Nina Ottoson Large Pyramid Toy to review. This toy is very similar to Bear’s Kong Wobbler toy, but it’s more challenging because the hole that the treats pass through is higher up making Bear work harder for each little reward. This particular toy rates as a level 2 toy on the Nina Ottoson Rating System which is a simple 1-3 scale, so two is a medium difficulty, appropriate for most dogs.
It’s weighted base allows it to sit back upright after each tumble or toss. Your pup will enjoy playing with this toy both indoors and outdoors! Consider feeding your dog his meal out of the Pyramid Toy on occasion and see how dinner can be drawn out for a half hour or more.
The Nina Ottoson Pyramid Toy is easy for me to fill up with kibble or small treats and pass off to Bear for enjoyment. He pushes it around with his nose, paws at it, and just wobbles it all around until a treat is released. He thinks it’s great fun! This toy comes in 3 different sizes so that dogs of all sizes can enjoy a food challenge of their own!
Besides being a great way to extend dinner time, feeding games serve a lot of other great benefits for our pets as well:
- Keeping senior pets like Bear mentally active and engaged
- Strengthen the bond between pet and owner
- A great activity and mental challenge for pets when the weather isn’t cooperative to outdoor play
- If your pet is sick this can be a great way for them to easily pass the time
- Pet parents can increase the challenge by freezing goodies inside of feeding toys before use
- Feeding games encourage finicky dogs, like Scooter, to eat their meals more readily
Disclaimer: SheSpeaksBark was provided with a Nina Ottoson Pyramid Toy for the purpose of this review. SheSpeaksBark was not compensated in any way to write this post. All thoughts and opinions are exclusively my own, and we only share products and services on SheSpeaksBark that we feel are relevant to our readers. As always, thank you for supporting brands that make SheSpeaksBark possible!