Contributed by Erin Austin
On March 20th, Fresno’s puppy raising group, Puppies with a Plan, and Visalia’s puppy raising group, Tailwaggers, attended the 17th annual Blind Babies Beeper Egg Hunt. The Blind Babies Foundation helps families with blind or visually impaired children, providing services to help the child’s optimal growth and development. My group, Fresno’s Puppies with a Plan, has been attending the Egg Hunt for the past two years; we were invited in 2009 by the Tailwaggers.
When this year’s Egg Hunt came around I was really excited. I was unable to attend myself last year, but my puppy, Freya, went with our club's leader. I got a lot of pictures of Freya with the kids, and I couldn’t wait to take pictures myself this time around.
When we got there and met up with the Tailwaggers, I wasn’t too sure what to expect. I currently don't have a puppy, so I took Tomales, a puppy from our group.
More than 1000 electronic eggs are donated free of charge by Carl Zeiss Meditec. The egg hunt, along with several fun activities including a petting zoo, cupcake decorating, bubbles, crafts and lunch, were enjoyed by more than 300 children and their families who traveled from throughout Northern California.
We were able to roam and mingle, so Tomales and I stayed with a few other members of my group and stopped whenever a child wanted to pet a puppy. One little kid really stands out in my mind. She petted one puppy and then went to another and another. She couldn’t stop laughing. Eventually she got down on the ground and one of the puppies licked her. She rolled around on the ground and laughed and laughed. She wasn’t the only kid who really loved the puppies.
It was there that I realized that no matter who Freya went to, she would bond with them. For some reason, seeing those kids smile when they put their hand on a puppy was all I needed to make the worries go away. I knew Freya would be fine because she wasn’t just going to be some person’s eyes. She was going to be their friend and, hopefully, whomever she is paired with will have the same smile on their face when she and her partner meet for the first time.