Wednesday, February 20, 2013

We've Got Mail: Thanks for the K9 Buddy!

Dear Guide Dogs for the Blind,

Rebecca and Muffin
I am sorry that it has taken me so long to get this letter to you. I want to thank you for Muffin, my Canine Buddy dog. Muffin means a lot to me. She has helped me feel better about using my cane. I don't like to use my cane but when Muffin is with me I do not mind as much. Muffin goes a lot of places with me. I take her to Kajukembo class with me because I have to go at night.

When it was snowing we had a lot of fun. Muffin loved the snow. She would roll in it, run through it, eat it, and generally make a mess of herself. We went to the park when it was all snowy and Muffin and my mom's dog, Duchess, went crazy running around. There had been so much ice and snow that they had not been able to get out very much so they were glad to run and play. Muffin even climbed up on to the climbing structure with me. But it was too slippery and so we made her get down. But we had a lot of fun that day.

Everyone in my family loves Muffin, except my older sister who pretends dogs don't exist. I am so glad to have Muffin. Thank you so much for giving her to me. Here [is a] picture of Muffin and I.

Rebecca and Muffin

Dog Placement and On Campus Care with GDB's Canine Welfare Technicians

CWTs at work

By Kathy Featherstone, Dog Placement Coordinator

The matching process between career change dogs and adopters is a team effort for those of us in GDB's Dog Placement Department who are finding forever homes for these dogs. As we are entrusted to make the best match possible, we look at a range of placement options, including:

  • other service organizations
  • pet companions for people who are blind
  • therapy dog programs
  • as the ultimate pet and best friend for a family

A vital step in this process is the care and commitment provided by members of GDB's Training Department, the canine welfare technicians (CWTs).

Each CWT has a project dog and will work on a specific behavior plan created by the CWT manager or a Dog Placement staff member. This behavior plan is unique to the individual dog's needs as well as keeping the dog healthy and happy on a daily basis. Outside of daily grooming, walks and supervised playtime with other career change dogs, each CWT is tasked to assess their project dog's behavior and use positive training techniques with clicker and food rewards for such behaviors as:

  • eye contact
  • polite greeting 
  • walking on a loose leash
  • basic obedience
  • recall, etc.   

CWT Shannon Del BuonoAs Senior CWT Shannon Del Buono said, “I find it very rewarding to work with a dog and seeing them progress when I’ve taught them a new skill/behavior that will help them get adopted.”

The CWTs insightful observations, canine knowledge and handling skills enables those of us in Dog Placement additional insight into determining the best match for each individual dog.

We are all appreciative of the commitment by the puppy raisers to the special dog that they have raised.  We want to ensure that each career change dog transitioned into our temporary care is valued, nurtured and continually learning new skills while on campus and awaiting their adoptive home.

A CWT playing with dogs in community run

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Breeder's Digest for November 2012

Yellow lab from Jay x Abigail litter

Litter Announcements
Labrador Retrievers

Golden Retrievers

New Breeders
Labrador Retrievers      
  • Denim – raised in CA
  • Syrah – raised in CA
  • Tisha – raised in CA  
Golden Retrievers
  • Amici – raised in CA