This fall we took a bus tour down to the Guide Dog’s Oregon Campus and it was an amazing experience. One person in our party said it was one of the best tours he had been on and we all felt the same way. The campus is a couple of hours south of us. Not far, but we have never been there. They were holding graduation and most of us needed tissues as we watched the puppy people who had raised the guide dog walk up on stage with their dogs and hand the lead to their new people. Not many of us had dry eyes, including those on stage.
In this program, the facility doesn’t train the person and dog and then wish them well and see them off. They stay involved and many times a special friendship is forged between the puppy raisers and the new owner. The dogs well being is seen to from the time it’s born and throughout its life.
The people – – – again there really isn’t words to describe the amazing volunteers. And it takes a lot of them. From
• the people that take care of the special dogs that are the moms and dads,
• to puppy raisers that receive their charges when the pups are approximately 8 weeks old and then return them to the campuses between 13 to 18 months.
• and the campus volunteers who do administration, nursing, training and myriad of other jobs that keep the campus’s running.
• community volunteers
I couldn’t help but think of our own Tricia Jones and Zorro. She has blogged about getting a guide dog puppy and I look forward to future blogs. I was amazed, impressed, and inspired by Tricia, AJ and Zorro before our visit to the Guide Dog Campus but now. Now ¬¬-¬ I could double and triple my feelings.
In a world where there is so much violence and dishonesty in the news we sometimes forget to look at the good, the honest, and the inspiring but it is all around us. Wishing everyone the BEST of that world in 2012 and beyond.