Friday, April 17, 2015

Countless Acts of Kindness, Generosity, and Service

By: Guide Puppies of Seattle Leaders Heidi Hespelt & Robin Roselle

We at the GDB puppy raising club Guide Puppies of Seattle recently hosted a Volunteer Appreciation Event during National Volunteer Week 2015. Several other local puppy raising groups were also in attendance: See Dogs, Paws 2 Guide, Paws for Independence, and Puppy Guides of Snohomish County. Our goal was to honor puppy raisers, puppy sitters, and all of our local volunteers that give so generously of their time and hearts. They are a big reason that Guide Dogs for the Blind is successful. Our volunteers help raise puppies that have a purpose in life, whether that purpose is to become a guide dog, or to follow another career path such as becoming an assistance dog for a person with a disability, helping others as a therapy dog, or becoming someone's best friend. All of these paths are important and our volunteers help these sweet puppies to get there.

 Here are a few of the highlights:

  • GDB graduate Marlaina Lieberg and her brand new guide dog, Nisha, spoke on the importance of GDB volunteers. Nisha didn't say much ;), but if you have ever heard Marlaina speak, you know we all thoroughly enjoyed it.
  • GDB graduate Terry Blankenship belted out an "Ode" to his guide dog, Tennessee.
  • Summit Assistance Dogs had a couple of volunteers present and gave a short demo on some of the skills that dogs in their program learn. Who doesn't love a dog demo?
  • Volunteer, Judy Toole shared GDB puppy genealogy charts 
  • Guide Puppies of Seattle provided pizza, beverages, and cookies for everyone. YUM!
  • Fun door prizes and GDB Puppy Raiser pins were given out to attendees.

a puppy raiser gets a kiss on her cheek from a young guide dog puppy

a puppy raising volunteer smiles holding the microphone at the podium

a volunteer holding the microphone on stage addresses the crowd of volunteers (guide dog puppies with their handlers are behind her).

GDB graduated Terry Blankenship holds the microphone belting out an "Ode" to his guide dog, Tennessee (black Lab in harness)

GDB graduate Marlaina Lieberg stands at the podium addressing the crowd of volunteers

GDB puppy raising leader Kelli Reiter stands on stage with GDB graduate Marlaina Lieberg and her guide dog Nisha (black Lab)

Image of the back of the blue and green shirt "Guide Puppies of Seattle" with the Space Needle and cartoon puppies.

two volunteer have a discussion with several volunteer cards on the table.

a puppy raiser speaks with Marlaina Lieberg and her husband.

Table sign that reads "We LOVE our volunteers!"


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