Thursday, February 3, 2011

What to do

Several years ago at the Virginia Home Educators Conference I saw an information table from Guiding Eyes for the Blind (GEB).  (My high school friend raised a puppy, so I knew of the organization).   At that moment I knew that I wanted to be a puppy raiser.  But I didn't want to terrorize my sweet old puppy with a new young puppy, so I filed it away in my head to do in a few years when the time was right.
  As the years passed, I have gradually known that I was not going to be ready to get a "permanent" dog, very soon after loosing my beloved puppy.  I also knew that my children would want a puppy immediately. A happy medium would be to raise a puppy for the blind.  I could let my sadness go toward helping someone else and bring a dog back to the house quickly.   I also wouldn't have to do all the raising alone.  The nicest thing about the puppy raising is that you have weekly training classes.   I don't have to figure out what my puppy is capable at this age, they tell me and help me teach the dog.  I also get to share this experience with Elizabeth.  She is reading all the materials and attending all the training classes.   We get to work on this as a team and in return she earns 100's of hours of volunteering for her American Heritage Girls Presidential Award that she is trying to get.  I am looking forward to the time I will get to spend with my sweet daughter.
     One question that I get from everyone is "Won't you love the dog and miss her when she goes?"  To this, I answer, "Of course, but I know that she will be helping someone.  She will be loved and appreciated.  What more does a dog wish for?  What more could I wish for her?  Also, I hear that you get to know not only the blind person, but their families as well.  You end up with more friends.  That sounds like a wonderful experience to me.  But at the end of the day, I enjoy helping others and that is honestly enough for me.  I know I will be sad to see her go, but she will just be replaced with another puppy to raise. and since puppies are a lot of work, the distraction will be good.  I do intend to get another permanent dog, but we will have to do that when the time is right.
    The most amazing thing about this puppy raising process is that it is very quick, I thought it would take months to get trained and approved, but the process has been quick and tomorrow our first puppy comes to stay.  We are all so excited.  We have toys, food treats, and lots of love all ready for our sweet new puppy.

No comments: