Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Announcing GDB’s 2015 Puppy Raising Scholarship Awards

Annually, GDB awards scholarships to puppy raisers in their senior year of high school who have outstanding scholastic achievement and volunteer experience within GDB and their communities. Congratulations to the following puppy raisers on their accomplishments!

The bios of the scholarship winners are included below. In the coming days and weeks, we’ll share the winning essays and creative projects from the scholarship winners here on the blog, so stay tuned!

Nancy Bloyer Memorial Fund Scholarships

Laura Marchi poses with a Golden Retriever with purple flowers around them.
Receiving a $1,000 Guide Dogs for the Blind Puppy Raising Youth Scholarship, a $500 award in the Outstanding Essay category, and a $500 award in the Outstanding Creative category is Laura Marchi of Roseburg, Oregon who has been raising puppies for Guide Dogs for Blind since she moved to Oregon four years ago. She has trained and owned dogs her whole life, and GDB was a natural next step to give back to the community. She has raised two GDB puppies, Ken and Caribou, both black Labrador Retrievers. Both were career changes, Ken works in a home for troubled teens and Caribou stayed with a family in her club. She has helped co-raise most of the other puppies in her club. One Golden Retriever whom she helped raise, Kristoff, who was career changed, is now her 4H dog and they will compete together this year at the Douglas County Fair in agility, rally, obedience, and showmanship. She also owns a German Shepherd, Cleopatra, whom she loves dearly and shows in AKC events. She plans to continue raising Guide Dog Puppies through college, and will be attending Oregon State University for engineering this fall.

$1,000 GDB Puppy Raising Youth Scholarships

Jaclyn smiles holding a black Lab puppy in front of the Puppy Truck.
Jaclyn Bigley from Fullerton, California has been raising guide dog puppies for eight years. She is currently raising her sixth puppy, Anna. Jaclyn first got involved with GDB because she wanted to be able to help others with what she loves most, dogs. GDB has impacted her life in way she could have never imagined and she is very grateful for the opportunities it has brought her. In addition to puppy raising, Jaclyn swims, is the co-chairman of the Knights of Columbus Christmas Drive at her church, is involved in student government. Jaclyn will be attending the University of San Diego.

Gina smiles holding a young black Lab puppy.
Gina Phillipsen of Shingle Springs, California has been involved in raising puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind since 2001, and as a primary raiser since 2010. Gina’s two older sisters raised 5 guide dogs between them. Gina has raised 4 puppies: Carnival who became a breeder; 2 career change puppies; and Nepal (one of Carnival’s first litter). Nepal just returned to GDB for formal training. During her 5 years as Teen Leader of the El Dorado County 4H Guide Dog Project, Gina worked diligently to promote the GDB program by securing donations and recruiting volunteers. Gina’s puppies-in-training have been present in all of her high school classes and she has taken them to classrooms at nearby pre-schools, elementary and middle schools for promotional talks and presentations. In addition to GDB puppy raising activities, Gina has earned two varsity letters in Trap Shooting, competes in local, state and national mathematics competitions and served as 4H All Star Ambassador for El Dorado County for 3 years. Gina will attend the University of Nevada, Reno this fall to major in engineering.

Hailey smiles with her arm around a yellow Lab guide dog puppy wearing the green puppy coat.
Hailey Elias of Auburn, California has raised seven puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind: one breeder (Darice), three working guides (Vivaldi, Yolo, and Porter), and two career changes, one became a service dog for a US Veteran (Skyla), and the other is her beloved pet (Atlanta). Her current puppy is a female yellow lab named Vashti. Hailey’s passion is helping others, and she loves seeing the impact her guide dog puppies make on not only the lives of the visually impaired, but her community as well. Hailey also volunteers in the Special Needs ministry at her church, and enjoys helping children with disabilities. She finds her background with Guide Dogs for the Blind helps her have a strong connection and empathy with the children she works with. Hailey graduated a year early from high school as valedictorian. She will be attending California State University Sacramento in the fall, and she can’t wait to continue raising guide dog puppies in college.

$1,000 Harwell Family Scholarship provided by Greg and Kathy Harwell

Kylie sits on a dirt road next to a smiling black Lab guide dog puppy.
Kylie Peterson of Roseville, California has been actively involved with Guide Dogs for 5 years.  She currently is spoiling a career change, Geoffrey, which got her involved with Guide Dogs in the first place. In that time she has also raised 3 puppies: Alamo (therapy dog for marital counseling); Pecan (spoiled house pet); and Gamma her current puppy in training.  While finishing her senior year of high school, Kylie not only lead several meetings for her puppy raising club but also was a leader in her church youth group. She will be attending Sierra College in the fall to pursue a career in Canine Physical Therapy.

$1,000 Jenkins Scholarship provided by Steve and Kathie Jenkins

Christina smiles next to a black Lab guide dog puppy.
Christina Marelli of Rancho Palos Verdes, California is currently raising her fourth GDB puppy, Blair. She has been the President of South Bay Puppy Raisers, her local puppy raising club, for the last two years. Christina also completed her Girl Scout Gold Award Project entitled "Anyone Can Be A Puppy Raiser," where she dedicated over 90 hours to develop a video for GDB about the process of being a puppy raiser and presented to 130 youths about the merits of becoming involved with GDB. Christina will be attending the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the fall, studying civil engineering and architecture.

Puppy Raising Youth Scholarships provided by Guide Dogs for the Blind

Megan smiles holding a young guide dog puppy (black and brindle Lab).
Receiving $1,000 GDB Puppy Raising Scholarship is Megan Irving of Fullerton California. Megan has raised 8 puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind as part of Puppies 2 Partners puppy raising club. Stardust, Harlow, Avalon and Margene are working guides, Dakota & Sherbert are career change pets, Figaro was career changed and is now Megan’s family’s pet, and Irene became a breeder and just had her first litter of 8 puppies! Among Megan’s many extracurricular activities, she is a scholar athlete having served as team captain for her school’s lacrosse team for three years as well as a two time MVP. She earned her Girl Scout Gold Award by petitioning the Orange County Board of Supervisors to change the wording on the service dog affidavit for waiving licensing fees for service dogs to include puppy raisers. She will be attending the University of Notre Dame in the Fall to study Mechanical Engineering.

Mikaela smiles sitting next to a black Lab.
Receiving a $500 GDB Puppy Raising Scholarship is Mikaela Haglund of Gresham, Oregon. Mikaela has raised puppies for GDB since 2006. In that time she has raised six puppies. Two puppies, Georgette and Tessie, became breeders. Three puppies, Gavina, Farrah and Cider, were all career change dogs. Cider has become a member of their family. The most recent puppy, Luau, graduated last June and became a working guide. Mikaela is currently involved with Guide Dogs as a puppy sitter. She has a passion for volunteering; she enjoys seeing the fulfillment she can bring to somebody and the difference she can make in their life. She has also volunteered with various local organizations through National Honor Society and Key Club. The past two summers she was a camp counselor at Camp Adams. Aside from volunteering, she played varsity tennis for two years. Mikaela will be attending Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, WA this fall. She plans to minor in Spanish and major in biochemistry to pursue a career in forensics.

Delphine smiles with a yellow Lab and Golden Retriever guide dog puppy.
Receiving a $500 GDB Puppy Raising Scholarship is Delphine Medeiros, of Seattle, Washington. Delphine has been raising puppies since her freshman year of high school. Corbett (retired guide), Lawton (retired guide), Belay (breeder), Ontario (career change), and Ben (puppy in training) have accompanied Delphine to school every day and become a part of the Vashon High School community. She has been the secretary for her puppy raising club, which is both ASB and 4H, leading into being the club's president for two years. Delphine has worked on ASB and helped manage the girls volleyball and boys basketball teams at her school during her senior year. In the fall she will attend Washington State University and hopes to continue her work with animals.

Sam smiles with a yellow Lab guide dog puppy.
Receiving a $500 GDB Puppy Raising Scholarship for an Outstanding Essay is Sam Nelson from Bend, Oregon. Sam is currently raising his 7th puppy, Burke, who will be recalled by the end of this summer for formal training. Sam raised two working guides, Huey and Waylon. Sam participated in multiple clubs including Interact Club (a division of Rotary International), Speech, Jr. Quota, and Honor Society. Sam plays several sports including Cross Country running, Nordic Skiing, and Lacrosse. Sam will be attending the Honors Program at Georgia Tech in the fall, studying Materials Science Engineering to work with medical devices.

Ian smiles kneeling next to a Golden Retriever guide dog puppy.
Receiving a $500 GDB Puppy Raising Scholarship for an Outstanding Essay is Ian Miller of Salt Lake City, Utah. Ian has been involved with Guide Dogs for the Blind for four years, and raised two puppies. His first, Muir, is currently a working guide in Hawthorne, California, while his second, Pasha, has been selected for breeding. Last year, Ian was elected as an officer for the FFA puppy raising club, and this year was elected as Club President. Outside of his work with GDB, Ian volunteers with the Utah Refugee Committee, working to help newly arrived refugees settle in to life in the US. He also recently completed a Service Year with Youthlinc, during which he finished 80 hours of local community service before traveling to Cambodia over the summer to teach English lessons, provide medical care and build a preschool in a rural village. In addition, Ian graduated with recognition from the National Honors Society of Utah and a scholarship from the Service Learning Department for his years of work through his local high school community. In his time with the Humane Society of Utah, he has fostered over 250 cats and kittens, all of which have now found permanent homes. Ian will attend Northeastern University this fall in the Honors Mechanical Engineering program on both a Dean’s and Presidential Scholarship.

Honorable Mentions (received $100 gift cards to Staples to assist with school supplies):
Monica Magdaleno
Allison Hance
Marina Mehta
Sarah Ferrell

May 2015 Breeder's Digest

Litter Announcements

Labrador Retrievers
Golden Retrievers

New Breeders:

Labrador Retrievers
Magpie – UT
Whitley – TX

Golden Retrievers
Pasha – UT

Lab/Golden Crosses
Reagan – UT & CO

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Southwest Bright Eyes Puppy Raisers Support GDB Graduate Trevor Thomas on The Colorado Trail

By: Sue and Jim Mooney

July was a very special time for the Southwest Bright Eyes puppy raisers of Durango, Colorado. We don't often get to meet a working guide dog team, so we were thrilled when we were able to welcome Trevor Thomas and his guide dog Tennille to our town when they finished hiking the 500 mile Colorado Trail! Trevor, Tennille, and Dave Baumgartner started their journey from Denver in mid June; all along the way, puppy raisers like Paul and Nancy Lucacovic, acted as trail angels bringing supplies to specified points every four to five days. When the team reached Lake City, it was time for us to help out. We are a small club, but we have lots of dog lover friends, and Dick Dahl, Donnie Moffatt, and Amy Scott rose to the occasion for two of the drops. We had the pleasure of meeting this intrepid trio on beautiful Molas Pass. The guys wolfed down the sandwiches and cokes we supplied, and Tennille was very pleased with a snack of baby carrots and a banana.

Two Southwest Brighteyes puppy raisers and their guide dog puppies pose with Trevor and Tennille (black Lab) in the wilderness.

The following Thursday, they arrived at the end of the Colorado Trail. Our local TV station and newspapers were there to greet them, as well as Mary Monroe from Trails 2000 (a local trails non profit connecting people to the outdoors), and our puppy club, with puppies in training, career change dogs, and many well-wishers. Nancy and Paul were here from Denver, and we had the honor of driving the tired but happy hikers around to get what they needed to get rid of the trail dust of 42 days, before the Chamber of Commerce reception at Santa Rita Park that evening. Durango pulled out all the stops, with a deli tray, refreshments, and gifts from several local merchants. Trevor was great at answering any and all questions, and Tennile sat quietly by his side  such a good example for our pups! After the reception, 10 people and four dogs traveled over to The Palace Restaurant for another opportunity to get to know each other. I am happy to report that the dogs and people were all very well-behaved!

A Southwest Brighteyes puppy raiser poses with her black Lab puppy.

Two Southwest Brighteyes puppy raisers pose with their guide puppies.

What an amazing experience it was for all of us getting to know Trevor, Tennille, and Dave! We are often asked how can we give these pups up. Our answer is that we raise them to change lives, and we know what great matches GDB makes. This team is an outstanding example of that! We will miss you, Trevor and Tennille, but we look forward to new adventures that you'll be up to. Again, the connections made this summer prove that "We are Family."

Three Southwest Brighteyes puppy raisers smile with Trevor and Tennille (black Lab) in the wilderness.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Yay for the ADA

By: GDB graduate Deanna Lewis

Being blind can be a drag
But, I just have to brag
Thanks to the ADA
I am able to go on my way
If I head to the museum
My guide dog is free to come
On a college campus
While riding in a city bus
Whether out to eat
Or on a spa retreat
Riding in a taxi cab
Or in a hospital lab
At any place of retail
To walking on a nature trail
While in a shopping mall
Or at a stadium watching football
Inside my local pharmacy
Or at the nearby library
While out to see a movie
I’m free to have my guide dog with me
In a swanky resort
And waiting in an airport
Daily trips to the gym
And at the city pool for a swim
Anywhere the public can be
So can my guide dog and me
At work, I can get the software I need
To do my job well indeed
The ADA gives me these rights
So that I can avoid many fights
So the most important thing I can say is
Yay for the ADA!

Deana's official GDB graduation photo smiling while posing with her guide dog Mambo (yellow Lab in harness).
Deanna with guide dog Mambo

Deanna submitted this poem in a local (Cincinnati, OH) writing contest in honor of the 25th anniversary of the ADA. The poem won FIRST PLACE, and she recently had the honor of reading it at a public celebration in downtown Cincinnati. Congratulations, Deanna!