Wednesday, December 31, 2008

There's No Place Like Home for the Holidays!

As we head off to ring in the New Year with our friends and families, we've been gripped in the throes of a crisis that finally, thankfully, has a happy ending.

Argos, an 11-month-old yellow Lab Guide Dog puppy got separated from his vacationing raiser family in New Mexico last Friday. Word had it that some local youths were seen with the dog. After the authorities and the media were notified, the hunt began. Much to everyone's joy, the dog was finally returned unharmed.

photo of Argos in his green puppy jacket
If you heard a howling sound, it was just the collective sigh of relief from all of us here at GDB. We're so glad Argos is home, safe and sound, and we know his raisers are, too!

Give all of your dogs and pups an extra hug from us! We wish you peace and prosperity in the New Year – from all your friends at Guide Dogs for the Blind.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Our Story Wall, Part 1

We are SO EXCITED about our new mural in the Volunteer/Visitor Center on our California campus. The mural will depict a mom and her sleeping puppies beneath a tree. While the little ones snooze, the mom thinks of their future (socialization, puppy raising, training, and guiding). Our hope is that the mural will inspire viewers to also think of the career-cycle of our puppies when they visit them in our kennels as part of their tour.

Our muralist is Michelle Imbach of Napa, California. Her dad, Mike, is assisting her with the background. You can check out more of her work at http://www.michelleimbach.com.

Very special thanks to our wonderful puppy socializing volunteer and long-time supporter, Wally Smith, who funded the project to honor the memory of Panda, her adopted retired Guide Dog.

Michelle working with her father on the sky on day 1:

Michelle working with her father on the sky
And overnight a tree has grown! Michelle adds the mama dog beneath the tree, day 2:

Michelle painting a dog onto the wall
Stay tuned for more photos as the project continues!

Monday, December 8, 2008

You Say Goodbye, and I Say Hello!

Photo of yellow lab Prizzi on her back as she is petted on her tummy
It's off to new adventures for our dogs and puppies just in time for the holidays as the Guide Dogs for the Blind Puppy Truck travels to Washington State. Watch this heartwarming 2 1/2-minute video from King TV.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Update from Franco to mom

Remember our 'F' litter pups? Here's an update from one of them, Franco, to his mom, now-retired breeder Christine.

Hello Mama,

What a month! I've been very busy traveling and meeting people. I have been a handsome ambassador for Guide Dogs for the Blind.

I have been traveling almost all month. I have only been home at my puppy raiser family's house for five whole days this month. The first part of November I flew to southern California and was totally pampered. The last part of November I drove to Montana and went hiking along the Continental Divide. I've seen the Pacific Ocean and the headwaters of Missouri River which flows into the Gulf of Mexico. I met a young infant and visited a spry 101-year-old man. America is a beautiful country even when it snows on you. It doesn't matter whether you are driving or flying, America is a big diverse and beautiful country.

Puppy Franco pictured seated by a swimming pool

Franco seated in the snow


You asked me how my training was going. I have almost all 12 of my commands down pat. I can go from a down to a sit and I am also working on a stand from a sit. Those are tricky, but I am sure that I am going to get them soon. My stay is not that solid yet but you wait and I will get that too. While I was in California we weren't able to make it back to the house we were staying at because of the fires there so I slept on my tie down. It was the first time that I slept all night out of my crate. I did really well.

With love and licks,
Franco