Saturday, February 27, 2010

Southeastern Guide Dogs 2010 Walk-A-Thon

Today we attended the much anticipated Walk-A-Thon! It was cold, rainy and very wet, but well worth it!

As well as seeing the wonderful raisers from our puppy group, I was able to meet up with two other puppy raisers that came from out of state for the WAT. I met one though an internet group a couple years ago and the other from the wonderful world of blogging!

This is Rebecca and her puppy-in-training, Rocky (aka the Rock Star!). We puppy-sat Rocky (when he was about 50 pounds lighter :) and Rebecca's career changed dog Ely when Rebecca and her family came down for the graduation of their last puppy they raised! Rebecca was the person who really nudged me into raising puppies.....Thank you so much Rebecca!!
Rebecca has an awesome guide dog blog, check it

This is Allie and her beatiful puppy-in-training Toby. Toby wasn't wanting his picture taken....he'd much rather sniff Sadie all over :) Allie has a really neat guide dog blog as well!

It rained during the whole 3 mile walk...every dog was soaking wet and pretty frisky because of the cold weather. The humans were also soaked, but despite the rain, almost every person walked the 3 miles. Sadie stayed in a perfect down under during lunch...

After lunch, Kaitlyn and I did a blind fold walk. Our first ever!
SEGDI staff marks off an area where they have dogs in harnesses ready to show you what it feels like to walk in complete darkness with a dog. When you start, you have to put on glasses that are completely black so you can't see anything. The dogs trainers are there, of course, holding the leashes, but you, as the "blind person" have a hold of the harness. The trainers have objects like a chair or safety cone so you and the dog have to go around it. It really shows you how much a blind person depends on the dog to keep them safe. The guide dog that lead me was a Gold-a-dore (Golden Retriever mix Lab) named Sarge and Kaitlyn's guide was a Lab. (Can't remember it's name!)

Right before the WAT was over they had the raffle. The winner of the 1st prize ($10,000 dollars) lives in Texas!

Sadie and I posed for a picture right before we left for home. (This was the same spot we took a picture of Eve and I last year *sniff* :)

Thank you for your support! Hope to see you again next year!


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Heartache and Tears Are Totally Worth It...

We have been anxiously waiting to hear how our sweet Eve is doing in school. I figured I would probably hear something at the upcoming Walk-A-Thon (this coming Saturday woohoo!) or I could find someone who knew. You have no idea how hard it is to wait. Think of your kid going off to college, or on a trip, or moving somewhere and not hearing from them! It's tough, but it was worth the wait...

This afternoon, I went out to get the mail and along with the typical junk, was an envelope addressed to us from Southeastern Guide Dogs. As soon as I saw it's contents, my heart skipped a beat and tears welled up in my eyes...

Isn't she gorgeous?

Our certificate

I'm crying just thinking about how sweet my little girl is.
She will make a perfect guide dog...just like her big "sisser" Clarke.

If all goes as planned, she will go through 6 months of intense harness training. We will receive report cards to see how she is doing. Then after those 6 months, she will be matched with the perfect person. They will then go through 26 days of learning how to work together.
If Eve's person agrees, we will then meet each other on "Puppy Raiser Day". That is one of the most special days you can imagine! Getting to watch your little puppy lead someone who can't see, or help someone who needs it. Most of the time, as soon as the dog sees their puppy raisers it makes a bee-line towards you and gives you TONS of doggy kisses! We will get to give Eve her favorite toys, and I'll make a scrapbook for her person. Even if the person is blind, they still enjoy showing off their dog to friends when they were a puppy!

Unfortunately, during this time, I cannot go see Eve. If I do, I could distract her and mess up her training. That wouldn't be fair to her. So if your down in Palmetto, stop by SEGDI and ask to see Eve!!

I will update the blog every now and then. I'll show you her report cards, and possibly add my future puppy-in-training to "Eve's Everyday Adventures" whenever a pup is needing a home!!