By Dave and Beth Adams
Who would have guessed that watching the Rose Parade on New Year’s Day 2003 would have any connection to the arrival of six beautiful Labrador retriever puppies in Texas in 2010? In 2003, Guide Dogs for the Blind celebrated its 61st Anniversary by entering a float in the Pasadena Rose Parade. Watching the parade from Mission Viejo, Calif., our family was moved to become puppy raisers. We traveled to Pasadena the following day to view the floats with the intention of talking with GDB representatives. It was there that we talked with a graduate of GDB, who spoke so lovingly about his new Guide Dog and what she meant to him, that the family was hooked.
We were referred to puppy raising leaders Pete and MaryJo Egus and the VIP3 puppy raising club in South Orange County. We attended meetings, studied the manual, puppy sat, and completed all the requirements. By April, we were raising our first pup. We raised three puppies for GDB before a job transfer took us to Texas. Once settled in Texas, we connected with a wonderful group of raisers from another school and raised an additional three puppies.
In Early 2010, we began to consider the possibility of forming a GDB puppy raising group in Texas. The more we talked about it with our puppy raiser friends, the more exciting the prospect became. It seemed a perfect fit that Guide Dogs for the Blind, one of the premier guide dog schools in the world, would expand its puppy raising to the Lone Star state. The State of Texas currently ranks fourth in the number of Guide Dog partnerships provided by GDB. Intrigued by the innovative training and lifetime support that GDB provides for its graduates, Lone Star puppy raisers worked together to develop a proposal to bring puppies to the state as a means to help GDB with its outreach efforts already in place in Texas.
To accomplish the goal of getting puppies to Texas, Lone Star Puppy Raisers took on the responsibility of fundraising to cover all of the costs associated with the puppy raising project. After nearly a year of planning and fundraising, we're thrilled to report that this past week six puppies began the next phase of their training with their feet firmly planted in the Lone Star State!
It is the goal of Lone Star Puppy Raisers to see the potential in each and every puppy, and to support and encourage each puppy and raiser so that they can develop to their fullest potential. Additionally, Lone Star Puppy Raisers are thrilled to be ambassadors for Guide Dogs for the Blind in the State of Texas. We pledge to reach our goals with hard work and integrity, utilizing creativity and partnership.
You can follow the Lone Star Puppy Raisers on their blog:
Pictured from top to bottom:
- Puppies Neutron and Melville, wearing Lone Star State bandanas
- Lone Star puppy raiser Kim Hart in the GDB kennel, holding one of the yellow Lab puppies destined for Texas
- Lone Star puppy raiser Brion Hart in the GDB kennel, holding one of the yellow Lab puppies destined for Texas
- Lone Star puppy raisers Shari Nederhoff and Lindsey Amos holding their new charges, Neutron and Melville