Thursday, January 13, 2011

13/352 ~ Decisions



A young girl walks a German Shepherd pass our home, I hear my dad say, “someday that dog will change someone’s life.” The year 1968, I was barely 10 years old and yet those words can still be heard echoing through my head. Dad was referring to a puppy being raised/fostered for The Seeing Eye.
One day that gallant shepherd would be guiding a visional impaired person through the streets of cities and the journeys of life.

I wanted to raise a puppy for them too. Dad refused insisting I would never be able to give the puppy back. It would break the hearts of each of my family members to have a dog be a part of our family for a year and a half only to be given up and never to be seen again. I knew one day, I could and would, raise one of these special puppies, a puppy with a purpose.

Fast forward to 1995, I am now married with 2 young sons, our family dog passes away and there is an quiet emptiness in our home. I reach out to my local 4-H program and weeks later an adorable, fuzzy, little, tail wagging, 7 week old puppy arrives on my door step. This puppy becomes part of my family, is loved and cared for as if one of our own. He is taken everywhere with us, he is being shown the world is a wonderful place to be and people are caring. 16 months later our phone rings and we are given the “recall date”. A reprehensive of The Seeing Eye arrived and with overwhelming sadness and tremendous joy, we return their puppy to them. He graduates from formal harness training college at their school and is paired with his person. This is one of the proudest days for my family. This dog has changed not only our lives but has help to provide independences and dignity to a blind individual.

Shyla ♥ is the “lucky” # 13th puppy which my family and I have raised. Her recall day will be sometime in April. Until that day she will grace us with her joy for life, her zest for chewing and her ability to love us unconditional.


ISO 800, f/4.8, 1/30

18 comments:

Chelsea said...

That is the sweetest thing, Trish! I love the pic, but the story and your commitment to these dogs and their lives even more!

snapshots2011 said...

Aww- I never knew you had wanted to do this from when you were young! What a beautiful picture of Shyla too- she looks so thoughtful here. Don't you wish you knew what she was thinking?

amatterofhowyouseeit.com said...

What an adorable pooch!

Melissa said...

I'm not going to lie, that post made me cry. You guys are truly inspirational for raising dogs to help other people. I know myself could never give a dog up after having it for so long and couldn't imagine how hard it was to let them go. But at the same time, I can only imagine how amazing it feels to know what you guys have done for someone else and it's people like you who make this world a better place.

Branson said...

Beautiful puppy, touching post! =)

Trisha said...

Love her eyes. What an amazing thing you do for people!

Tammy said...

What a great story. I didn't even realize there was a program like this, simply amazing and you are amazing people for doing it!

She is beautiful!

Kara said...

Love this, her face is so sweet! And love what you do!!

Janet said...

What an amazing story :)

Courtney said...

What a sweet story!! I can't believe you have trained so many!! She's ADORABLE!!

Janell said...

What a beautiful story, brought tears to my eyes.

Jennifer said...

Oh my goodness she is sweet. Beautiful shot!

L^2 said...

Love your photo of pretty black Lab Shyla. Thank you so much for sharing this for the ADBC! I’m checking links, so the full list of carnival posts should be up on my blog soon.

Jess and Glacier said...

I loved your post. It's neat to hear the other side of the story. :)

Jen said...

Great post! I am a guide dog owner, so I know exactly how important the job of a puppy raiser is. Keep up the brilliant work.
Jen in Ireland

Sherlock said...

Loved the post. Beautiful story and beautiful dog.

Torie said...

Thank you so much for doing what you're doing! On behalf of all guide dog owners!

Take care,

Torie and guide dog Ushi.

Ro said...

Any time my guide dog gets a compliment on his behavior, the way he settles so nicely, the fact that people are surprised to find out a dog was in the room, the fact that he doesn't bark or eat my things, I always and without pause, give credit to his puppy raiser. You are the only reason we have these wonderful dogs and I never mind explaining what you do to people. Their reactions are always the same, wow how do they give the puppy back? I have yet to find a person who is actually interested in doing it. You are a rare breed and I thank you from the bottom of my heart!