Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thankful for Our Volunteers

Just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday, we received this tribute to one of GDB's most dedicated and long-standing volunteers. At this time of year, we want to take a moment to express our gratitude for ALL of our volunteers, whether they've been with us for 5 months or 50 years. Without you, we couldn't provide our free services and make a difference in the lives of so many. So to all of our volunteers this holiday season, thank you. And to Gwen Reimann, congratulations on nearly 50 years as a member of our family.

By puppy raiser Mary Ann Epstein

Gwen Reimann
Gwen Reimann, leader of “Diamonds in the Ruff” puppy raisers of Los Angeles County, was the guest of honor at a surprise celebration earlier this month to honor her many years of service as a GDB volunteer. The celebration was held in Sycamore Canyon Park in Diamond Bar, Calif., and Gwen’s GDB friends and fellow puppy raisers, past and current, contributed pages and photos to make a huge scrapbook of GDB puppy memories. Known for her sunny disposition and outgoing, friendly personality, Gwen was thanked for her dedication, patience, guidance, encouragement and helpfulness.

Born and raised in San Francisco, Gwen was introduced to Guide Dogs for the Blind by a childhood friend. Later, when Gwen and her husband Jack moved to San Rafael, within walking distance of GDB's California campus, it was just natural that she would volunteer. Of course like most campus volunteers, she yearned for the coveted job of puppy tester! But there was a long waiting list because there was (and still is) rarely an opening. In the meantime, Gwen accepted any job GDB gave her, including stuffing envelopes. She was around so much and got to know everyone; the first of the many guided tours she gave of the campus came one day when she had to wing it and do the job in a pinch. As the story goes, she excelled at the task, and there was no looking back. Eventually, she was rewarded with that special job of puppy testing. It was a sad day years later when she announced to GDB that her husband was being transferred to Los Angeles and she couldn’t volunteer for on campus anymore.

Gwen Reimann
She learned, however, that she could still volunteer for GDB while in Los Angeles, but under the auspices of 4-H which was responsible for the youth puppy raising program at the time. When Jack and Gwen settled in Diamond Bar in 1970, Gwen contacted Connie Henry of Los Angeles puppy raisers and volunteered. She also met and helped out with the puppy station wagon (now the puppy truck) when it came south to deliver pups. Eventually she was asked to be a leader of Pomona Valley 4-H puppy raisers. For a long time the group was affectionately known as “Gwen’s Group” which met in Diamond Bar. Then in the late 90s the group adopted the name “Diamonds in the Ruff” suggested by Dan Wheeler.

2010 marks Gwen’s 40th anniversary of volunteering for 4-H in Los Angeles County and near 50 years of volunteering for GDB.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Holiday Travels: News From TSA

The following is a letter we received today here at GDB from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) describing the new techniques being used at airport security checkpoints. We thought it was worth sharing since many of you will be traveling during the holidays. Happy Thanksgiving, and safe travels!


Dear Members of the Disability Community:

You have probably been hearing and seeing a lot in the media lately about the Transportation Security Administration's new screening procedures. As much of what has been circulating has been exaggerated and/or inaccurate, and with the holiday travel season rapidly approaching, I wanted to take this opportunity to clarify our procedures and hopefully address concerns you may have.

TSA began piloting the use of Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) in 2007. It is a highly effective security tool, and represents the best technology available today to screen passengers for both metallic and non~metallic threats. Currently, there are 411 imaging technology units at 69 airports. The most important thing you need to do to prepare for AIT screening is to make sure that you remove everything from your pockets (including your wallet) and also remove any bulky jewelry.

TSA uses two types of imaging technology, millimeter wave and backscatter. The backscatter machines use narrow, low-intensity X-ray beams scanned over the body surface at high speed. The amount of radiation a person receives is minuscule; a person receives more radiation naturally each hour than from one screening with a backscatter unit. In fact a traveler is exposed to less radiation from one AIT scan than from 2 minutes of an airline flight. It produces an image that resembles a chalk-etching, and has a privacy filter applied to the entire body.

Millimeter wave technology bounces harmless electromagnetic waves off of the human body to create a black and white image. The energy emitted by millimeter wave technology is thousands of times less than what is permitted for a cell phone. Millimeter wave technology has a privacy filter that blurs facial features.

This technology is safe. Multiple third-party scientific and health organizations, including the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Johns Hopkins University, have collected and analyzed data and concur that this technology is safe for both officers and passengers. For more information about safety see

Great efforts have been taken to ensure passengers' privacy in implementing this technology. To that end, all images generated by imaging technology are viewed in a remotely-located security location that is not visible to the public. The officer assisting the passenger cannot view the image, and as an additional precaution, the officer viewing the image is in a remote location and never sees the passenger.

In addition to the privacy filters discussed previously, imaging technology cannot store, export, print, or transmit images. All images are deleted from the system after they are reviewed by the remotely located operator, and all machines have zero storage capability because they are disabled by the vendor before they reach airports. No cameras, cellular telephones, or any device capable of capturing an image is permitted in the resolution room.

Imaging technology has had a very high rate of acceptance among the traveling public. Since imaging technology has been deployed at airports, over 99 percent of passengers choose to be screened by this technology over alternative screening procedures. According to a new CBS poll, 4 out of 5 Americans support the use of advanced imaging technology at airports nationwide ( Visit to see more independent polling on AIT acceptance.

While you have probably also been hearing a lot about pat-downs lately, the use of pat-downs is not new. Pat-downs have long been one of the many security measures TSA and many other countries have used in its risk-based approach to help detect hidden and dangerous items such as explosives like the one we saw in the failed terrorist attack last Christmas Day. Pat-downs are primarily used to resolve alarms that occur at a walk-through metal detector, if an anomaly is detected during AIT screening, or during random screening. In any of these situations you will be given a pat-down before you're able to continue on to your flight. External medical devices can be detected by AIT. Remember if you are uncomfortable being patted-down in public you can always ask for a private screening, and if you have areas that are sensitive or have an external medical device, please let the security officer know.

AIT screening is optional for everyone; however, passengers who opt out of screening by AIT or walk-through metal detectors must undergo alternate screening using a pat-down. There is nothing punitive about our measures; it just makes good security sense. Given that those who wish to do us harm have moved towards the use of artfully concealed smaller items and homemade explosives, the pat-down you receive will be more thorough than what you may have received previously. Pat-downs are conducted to provide an equivalent degree of screening and ensure that the passenger is free of all prohibited items.

Some people with disabilities are ineligible for screening using AIT including the following: people who use wheelchairs and scooters who cannot stand; anyone who cannot stand with their arms raised at shoulder level for the 5-7 second duration of the scan; anyone who is not able to stand without the use of a cane, crutch, walker, etc; people who use service animals; people using or carrying oxygen; and individuals accompanying and providing assistance to those individuals described above. These people will be screened using alternate screening techniques including pat-downs.

I hope that you find the information provided useful and wish you safe and happy travels. We will continue to work with you, our partners, to implement procedures that screen all passengers with the dignity and respect they deserve. Should you have additional questions, please direct them to Rhonda Basha, Director, Office of Disability Policy and Outreach (ODPO) at or Brewster Thackeray, Senior Policy Advisor, ODPO at

Kimberly Alton
Special Counselor Transportation Security Administration

The letter above did spark some questions when it was received as how this affects Guide Dogs specifically. The following are some tips and explanations provided by GDB Class Supervisor Jim Dugan.

What to expect if you are blind or visually impaired and use a service dog
If you are blind or visually impaired and use a service dog, both you and your dog will have to go through screening.

What choices, if any, do you have in the screening process?
  • You will not be eligible for screening using Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT).
  • You can choose to undergo Walk Through Metal Detector (WTMD) screening, or request a pat-down. A pat-down may be conducted in a private screening area by an officer of the same gender.
  • To resolve the passenger alarm, the Transportation Security Officer (TSO) will conduct a pat-down to verify that no prohibited items are present.
  • Since your dog’s harness most likely contains metal, the TSO will need to physically inspect your dog and its belongings (collar, harness, leash, backpack, vest, etc.) in order to resolve the alarm. Although the dog’s harness will not be removed, it and other items that s/he may be carrying (such as a backpack) are subject to screening.
  • Note: If you and your dog walk through the WTMD individually and one or both of you set off the alarm, additional screening will be conducted as described above on whoever causes the alarm.
What you can do to facilitate the screening process
  • Inform the Security Officer that the animal accompanying you is a service animal and not a pet, and carry appropriate identification to verify this fact.
  • Inform the Security Officer how you and your dog will walk through the WTMD (walking together or with the service dog walking in front or behind you).
  • Keep control of your service animal while the TSO conducts the screening.
What else you can expect
The TSO should:
  • Offer to assist you in placing your accessible property on the X-ray belt.
  • Provide you with verbal instructions regarding the screening process.
  • Allow you to stay with your dog throughout the entire screening process.
  • Allow you to go to the front of the screening line if you choose to do so.
  • Allow you to go to the front of the line to be re-screened when you have to leave the checkpoint to take your animal to a service animal relief area.
Other important things to know
  • If you leave the sterile area to relieve your dog, you will have to undergo the entire screening process again. When you return to the security checkpoint, however, you are entitled to move to the front of the screening line to expedite the process.
  • Medication for service animals is permitted through security checkpoints once it has undergone X-ray or visual inspection screening. All liquids, gels, or aerosols will have to undergo Liquid Container Screening.

Pedestrian Update: Hybrid Car News

Infiniti M35HWe thought you might be interested to know that Infiniti has announced that its M35h model, set to debut in Europe in mid-2011, will be the first hybrid car to have an audible pedestrian warning system come as a standard feature. No news on when the model might be available in the U.S. or Canada, but for more information on the car and its audio warning system, please visit

Monday, November 15, 2010

Puppy Raisers' YouTube Series Debuts at New Media Film Festival

Guide Dog puppy Ricki
Puppy raisers Amie and Matt Chapman of Hayward, Calif., are the dynamic duo behind the popular YouTube series, "Growing Up Guide Pup" (GUGP). The series is a weekly video blog that highlights the adventures of raising their current Guide Dog puppy, Ricki.

Producing the series was a natural fit - Matt has a passion for making videos, Amie has a passion for raising puppies, so the couple thought that combining both of their interests could be a lot of fun.

"I had read many great blogs written by puppy raisers that wanted to share their experience with people," Amie said. "A few days before we picked up Ricki I had the idea of doing a video blog instead of a written one."

After just a few weeks of airing the series, their viewership started to grow. Amie and Matt were getting messages from people all over the world, including from people who are visually impaired.

"We started out just wanting to share with people the experience we were having raising Ricki," said Amie, "and it turned into more. Guide Dog users are getting an idea of what their dog went through as a puppy, and we have had a lot of people wanting to know more about how to become puppy raisers. We are trying to be honest about how Ricki is progressing, and we are showing people how much work puppy raisers really do."

What started out as a hobby, has begun to take on a life of it's own.

"Amie and I are really pleased with the progress our series has been making," Matt said. "We just had our festival world premier at the New Media Film Festival in San Francisco where 'Growing Up Guide Pup' was viewed by a lot of industry professionals, and included judges from Summit Entertainment, Pixar, and Industrial Light and Magic. We also were able to do a Q&A after our screening and chat with a lot of people. I'm most pleased that our series goes against the grain, and was unique for its category at the film festival (web series)."

"Growing Up Guide Pup" has a special quality about it, as its popularity will attest. "We design our format with the visually impaired in mind," said Matt, "and we are also making something that a whole family can enjoy." Indeed, GUGP is featured on GDB's own Kids Website.

"Where our show will go next?" asks Amie. "We have no idea, but we are having a lot of fun making it. Raising puppies over the last 8-1/2 years, and being part of the Guide Dogs family has been great. We have made a lot of new friends along the way, and have raised some amazing dogs. Thanks to everyone who watches our show and continues to support us."

Matt agrees. "We are going to keep going with the series, and see where this adventure takes us next!"

You can find the entire series at

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Honoring Our History: Serving Veterans Still a Priority

An American Flag
As you may know, Guide Dogs for the Blind was founded to help wounded servicemen who would return from World War II without their sight. Reaching out to and serving veterans is still a vital part of our program today.

A great example of our outreach efforts to veterans came just at the end of October when we held a "GDB Lifestyles Workshop" at the Nevada Department of Rehabilitation in its Services for the Blind division in Reno. Lifestyle workshops are offered to people who are interested in exploring the option of getting a Guide Dog for mobility.

The event drew more than seventy greater Reno-area participants, including many veterans. Entrepreneur and Guide Dog handler Mark Berry set the tone with coffee that he roasted and brewed from his company Blind Dog Coffee. Eight local GDB puppy raisers came with their pups, and everyone who wanted a chance to experience a "Juno walk" was able to take advantage of that opportunity (a walk with a person simulating the work of a Guide Dog). GDB ambassador dog Nina was also on hand to provide guided walks with a dog as well.

These lifestyle workshops are a way for us to connect with our history by meeting current-day veterans that could benefit from our services. So on this Veterans Day, we honor our past, salute those that have served and continue to serve our country, and strive to make a difference in the lives of veterans well into the future.


Betty White holding a Guide Dog puppy
  • Stars & Their Pets: Betty's Little Leader (People Magazine's, October 25, 2010): "Walk of Fame" features a photo of longtime GDB supporter Betty White with Guide Dog puppy Phil at a GDB event in Montecito, Calif.
  • A Dog Guide for Inwood (West Lynn Herald, October 2010): GDB alumnus Doug Robinson offers tips on interacting with his Guide Dog, Reggie.
  • Steady Hedy (KXTV-TV/ABC Sacramento, October 8, 2010): Featuring GDB alumna Carolyn Wing Greenlee and her Guide Dog Hedy. Video included.

Head of the Charles Regatta
GDB Alumnae Aerial Gilbert and Natalie McCarthy were members of a four-person rowing team that won the gold at the Head of the Charles Regatta in its first adaptive event for disabled rowers. Aerial, with her Guide Dog, Splash, subsequently visited Perkins School for the Blind to teach the sport to blind youth.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Breeders Digest, September 2010

A pile of baby yellow Lab pups
Here's our announcements for the litters born during the month of September, 2010, as well as the dogs newly accepted in to our breeding program. To see photos of each litter, click on the links below to take you to our Flickr site.

Litter Announcements

Labrador Retrievers
Lab x Golden Crosses

New Breeders

Labrador Retrievers
  • Hurley – raised in OR

Thursday, November 4, 2010


Apparently, you shutterbugs out there really enjoy the Autumn months! During October, our email inbox ( was overflowing with amazing photo submissions (which we posted to our Flickr site), as was our Group Photo Pool ( Here's a sampling of the great images that we received. We hope you keep those photos and stories coming!

Emily and Leche
The Have Paws Will Travel puppy raising club of Arapahoe County, Colo., had it's 17th annual Halloween Party, Chili Dinner and Costume Contest in October. The costumes puppy raisers came up with for their dogs were clever and impressive! Pictured is Emily Groves with yellow Lab puppy Leche; their costumes won them First Place in the "Team" category (they were cookies and milk). You can enjoy many many more fun pictures at the club's website, Submitted by Andrea Loughry.

January and Nancy
Guide Dog puppy January and puppy raiser Nancy Bloyer in front of a giant Micky Mouse Jack-o-lantern. Nancy and January were at Disneyland to participate in the 20th Annual CHOC Walk in the Park, which supports Children's Hospital of Orange County. More than 14,000 Walkers raised a record breaking $2 million. Submitted by Nancy Bloyer.

Elk Grove Puppies with a Vision puppy raising club
Elk Grove Puppies with a Vision puppy raising club on an excursion to Fog Willow Pumpkin Farm in Wilton, Calif. The puppies got to experience going up and down a stack of hay bales, sniffing various farm animals, taking a hay ride and going through some obstacles in a playground. They had a great time. Submitted by Gerald Edwards.

Lone Star pups in their Halloween costumesThe six puppies being raised in Texas as part of the Lone Star Puppy Raising Group show off their Halloween costumes. Submitted by Shari Nederhoff.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A Day in the Life of... A Retired Guide Dog

Retired guide Freida

My name is Freida and I used to be a Guide Dog. I graduated with my partner as her very first Guide Dog in June of 2000. She and I traveled EVERYWHERE together for almost eight years. Planes, trains and automobiles… and cruise ships and ferry boats too! We even went to Alaska one time with 20 other guide doggies and their partners - we had a blast. We have the good fortune of living in Hawaii! I really love it here. Since I was raised in Arizona, I love all the sun.

My partner and I truly are soul mates; when we were working together, we always know what the other was thinking - we could read each other’s minds! It was kind of spooky, but ours was a very special bond. I'm retired from guidework now, but I'm still finding loads of adventures to keep me busy.

You see, several years ago I got really sick and could have died. Doc, one of the veterinarians at GDB, operated on me and made me okay again. I love Doc. Still, I slowed down a bit. My partner and I had a good chat. She told me through her tears as she hugged me that she wanted me to have a good, quality retirement. She didn't want my retirement to mean that I'd sit around and do nothing - no sirree!

So, she thought of something that we could still do together, something that would get me out and about and help me stay active and fit, as well as something that would be a lot of fun. I am happy to say that I am now a Therapy Dog! My new job is to visit with patients in the hospital as well as patients in two different hospice facilities. They get to pet me and love me. It helps the people to forget their worries and smile a bit.

People always grin when they see me saunter in, tail a-wagging, grin on my whitening face. I give kisses and tail wags every time we go into a patient’s room. It is a really cool new job, because it is fun to see the wide, joyful smiles from the people I visit. I've been a therapy dog for going on three years, and have visited with about 2,000 patients.

I know that my visits make a difference in these people's lives. For example, I once visited with a patient who the nurses said was conscious, but that she had not talked or opened her eyes for at least a couple of weeks. When we went to visit with her and her family, the nurse told the lady my name, and I licked the underside of her hand that had gently been placed on my nose. She started to pet my head and scratch my ears. Then the most surprising thing happened: she opened her eyes and said “Freida, I love you.” WOW, how cool was that! She smiled and everyone else cried quietly. It was a happy moment I will never forget. I never saw her again, but it sure was wonderful to see that wide smile on her face and hear her say she loved me.

Love, licks and lots of wags,


The Royal Treatment

Submitted by GDB alumna Tiffany Jolliff

Reserved for Railey sign
My Guide Dog, Railey, has become quite the celebrity at a local restaurant here on the Illinois State University campus. Every day between classes, we walk over to Einstein Brothers Bagels for lunch. Railey has become quite enamored with a particular table there. If "his" table is occupied, he goes so far as to stand nearby and stare at the occupants until they inevitably pick up their food and depart with a comment like "I was finished anyway."

One particular day, we found that someone was sitting at the favorite table, and were going nowhere fast. Railey and I reluctantly sat in a different spot, but it didn't feel right for either of us. The manager noticed and came over, questioning why we were sitting somewhere new. I replied that it did feel kind of awkward.

"Why don't I reserve that table for you?" the manager asked. I thought she was joking, so I went along with it.

"Yeah! A Reserved For Railey sign would be hysterical!"

"Well then, that's what we'll do."

I was shocked! A table just for us? She proved that she really was serious when she brought out a digital camera and posed Railey next to the table. After some expert shooting, she got the perfect picture.

By the time Railey and I returned to Einstein Brothers on our next visit, sure enough, a sign with Railey's picture was prominently placed in the middle of "his" table, secured in a thick glass case. Since then, Railey has become quite the star with everyone who comes in the restaurant, and is enjoying all of the attention and extra pats.

One Kibble at a Time

Sometimes, our dogs simply make us laugh. The silly things they do endear them to us and allow us to take things a little less seriously. Such was the case recently for GDB alumnus Jean-Pierre Jamous with his Guide Dog Hornet. Jean-Pierre (who is originally from Lebanon and has championed access rights for service dogs in that country) has been a Guide Dog user for 12 years, but recently had such a funny incident with his guide that he wrote us with this tongue-in-cheek announcement of Hornet's new service abilities. We hope you get a chuckle.

Submitted by GDB alumnus Jean-Pierre Jamous

I am very pleased to inform you that I have discovered the ultimate cleaning machine ever made. It is fast, efficient, and highly effective. The results are astonishing.

The discovery came about this morning. I got up and was not fully awake. I had Hornet, my Guide Dog, walking along side of me waiting to be fed.

I reached to his food container and filled an 8-ounce cup. As I turned to enter the kitchen to mix the food with warm water, my hand hit the wall. The plastic cup bounced against the wall, then faster than I could react, it sprung up in the air and the kibble contents came crashing down all over the kitchen floor.

I stood still for a moment, pondering the situation. Remember, I was not fully awake. Hornet stood by me like a good boy. He did not cross the kitchen doorway, despite the tempting mess, because he has been taught by me that this is a forbidden zone to him in the house.

Suddenly, an idea dawned on me. Why not let Hornet do the cleaning? This is not my food. It is his. Technically I wouldn't be breaking the rule I have developed, and since I knew the source of the errant scraps, I wasn't worried about him ingesting something out of the ordinary.

I gave Hornet the okay to sweep the floor. He hesitated as if to say: "Are you sure I can go in there?" I reassured him that it was fine and even turned the light on for him.

At that moment a miracle unfolded before me. Within two minutes - tops - Hornet was done cleaning the floor. To ensure the value of his cleaning capabilities, I wiped the whole floor with my hands. I could not find one piece of food on the ground. Not even under the fridge or stove. His cleaning was faster and more efficient than any broom or machine on the market.

After this magnificent discovery, I thought to myself, "What if I started up a business: Hornet Cleaning Services LLC?" We'd be in high demand! Since Hornet is equipped with all-paw drive and a double layer coat, we could even make house calls in a snow storm. And we could expand - bring along all of Hornet's non-service dog friends, capable of cleaning up other edible messes! People, put your vacuums away, and give us a call today. If there's a kibble mess to be addressed, Hornet is the pooch for the job!

Greetings from Choco-boy

Megan Stewart and Snickers
Remember a few months back when we announced that we had chocolate in our kennels? Well, the chocolate Lab pups are now happily ensconced in their puppy raising homes. We recently got this update about one of the pups, Snickers, submitted by his puppy raiser, Megan Stewart:

Hey everyone, this is Snickers the chocolate puppy, but most people just call me choco-boy. Two months ago I was delivered to my new raiser mom, and was greeted by everyone here in Utah with a rock star's welcome. Everyone enjoyed getting a chance to snuggle with the chocolate puppy and I got kisses and cuddles galore. It was great, but I was glad to be with my raiser mom and start learning how to be a Guide Dog.

I’ve been learning a lot and I try really hard to be a good boy. My very favorite thing to do is go to puppy classes! There are ten other dogs in my group and they are all learning to be Guide Dogs too. It’s really fun to see all my friends every week. I also have two big sisters, Paris and Picassa. Paris used to be a Guide Dog in training but she doesn’t see very well so she came back to be raiser mom's pet dog, and Picassa is a puppy in training like me but she is leaving next month for her formal training. I love my sisters and enjoy teasing them and being a pesky little brother.

I have all my shots now so I get to go places with my raiser mom, and it’s been a lot of fun. I think my favorite outing was when mom took me on a long walk to a waterfall. The water was really cold but I jumped in anyway. There were a lot of birds and chipmunks up there too, but I was a good boy and didn’t try to chase any of them. That’s all for now, I hope everyone and their doggies are doing great.

High Seas Adventure

By GDB alumna Holly McKnight

Holly and Pollyann
When I graduated with my third guide Pollyann, in the summer of 2006 I knew we would have many wonderful adventures together. I would like to tell you about one of my favorites.

In the summer of 2009 some family friends of ours said that they were planning a cruise in January 2010 and that one of the ladies who was going with them needed someone to share a room with. Our friends thought of me and Pollyann. I jumped at the chance because I had wanted to cruise for years.

The first thing we had to do was figure out what was needed to take a dog on the ship, and Carnival Cruise Lines was very willing to work with us. They told us where to find information about traveling internationally with a dog and it turned out to be much easier than I thought it would be. We gathered all necessary papers and set out for South Texas.

When we arrived at the cruise terminal we got on the ship and when I went into my room there were towel animals on my bed. One representing me, and the other, Pollyann. I knew from that moment that it was going to be a great week.

The crew went out of their way to make my trip great and they loved having Pollyann on board. She had bandanas each day that were the same colors that I was wearing. People would seek us out each day to find out what Pollyann was wearing. The cruise line had information in Braille for me. It was great.

The only thing that was a bit rough on our trip was the fact that it was cold. We were thinking that leaving Texas in January meant that we would get away from the cold, but it was not to be.

We went from Texas to Key West Florida for our first stop. It was really neat watching the ship dock and move sideways. I have enough sight to be able to watch things pass us. Other than that, I could not tell that the ship was moving.

In Key West we had arranged to take a city tour so we went on an open train and froze. We all took turns holding Pollyann so that she could help us stay warm. We also got some Key Lime Pie that was very good.

Our second stop was Freeport in The Bahamas. We took a city tour there as well. By that time we had learned our lesson and rode on a regular bus. It was much warmer, although still not what we would consider toasty.

Our final stop in The Bahamas was Nassau where my dad and I got in the water with dolphins. Pollyann waited for me on the beach with my mom and had many people admiring her. She loved it.

In short, our cruise was amazing and I would never have tried it without my amazing girl. She easily traveled through the hundreds of people on the ship and made it such that I could too. I could tell how many people there were and in her usual style Pollyann easily went around them. Our table staff at meals were also very happy to have a dog on the ship. We were in many pictures and had a great time on our wonderful cruise.

The most frequently asked question that I got was "where does she go to the bathroom on the ship?" Well, the crew had a box set up for her in a private area away from the public and it worked great.

In short, if someone is considering taking a cruise with one of GDB's amazing guides, I say do it!

Finding Their Wings

The Eager Eye puppy raising club in front of Alaska Airline's mock-up training aircraft
Alaska Airlines hosted the Eager Eye puppy raising club of Issaquah, Wash., at Alaska's Flight Operations and Training Center near Sea-Tac Airport in Seattle this past weekend. The club arranged the visit with the airline to give their pups an in-cabin airplane experience using the airline's mock-up training aircraft. The club's nine puppies were able to board the mock-up aircraft, sit with their raisers in real aircraft seating and have a life-like experience. The outing included beverage cart use, PA announcements, boarding, in-cabin luggage handling and de-planing. What an excursion!