Critter Alley

Critter Alley

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Guide Dogs in Training

Toby's memory stone made with love by his raiser

Have you ever seen a guide dog or service dog in action and wondered what it takes to create such an amazing partnership? 

I recently started to follow a fascinating blog called Toby's Life as a Guide Dog in Training. Toby tells us, from his own point of view, what it's like to prepare for a life of service while in the home of his raiser. A raiser is the person who cares for the pup as he grows... providing socialization, training, and plenty of love.

After many months in his raiser's home, Toby recently moved on to Guide Dog school. I must confess to shedding quite a few tears over the poignant posts as his raiser (and his fans) said good-bye. 

The happy news for us is that Toby's raiser will receive a new puppy in May. Currently you can read past posts about sweet Toby, as well as look forward to soon following a new puppy-in-training.

I'd never before given much thought to the job of a raiser in preparing service dogs. Toby's blog will definitely open your eyes, and your heart, to a raiser's role in transforming an animal from puppyhood to a dog who will someday open a world of possibilities for a person in need.

23 comments:

giantspeckledchihuahua said...

It takes a really special person/family to be the puppy raiser for a service dog. thank goodness there are so many special people in the world!

Southeastern Guide Dogs said...

Toby is just one of the wonderful dogs we have in one stage of training or another. It does take a very special person to be a puppy raiser and we are so thankful for everything they do to prepare our dogs for their all important work. Should you want any further information on our programs, you can visit www.guidedogs.org.

Toby- The dog with a blog said...

Thank you so much for posting this, Toby would have loved to read it!
I'm so happy Toby had such great friends,

Toby's Raiser

elbouwii said...

its a very good memory of toby

Kissslobbers
El'bow & Hauwii

the booker man said...

i know toby is gonna be the bestest guide dog!!
*woof*
the booker man

Bandit's Pack said...

How difficult it must be to see a service dog go off after doing the raising and the training. But what a huge accomplishment that'll benefit another in need of his service. Best wishes to Toby and to Toby's raiser. ♥

lmcoulter said...

That's so wonderful! So many caring and giving people out there. Thanks for pointing me to this blog!

Linda O'Connell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Linda O'Connell said...

Such a heart-warming story. It would be difficult to part with that puppy, but it's all for a good cause.

Benny and Lily said...

ahhh..nice story...
Benny & Lily

twinkietinydog said...

We're all with you. A few tears shed, mainly for the trainer... and the ensuing empty nest syndrome. Mom says she is not brave enough to do what Toby's raiser did. Not in this lifetime, therefore we have great respect and empathy for Toby's raiser!
Twinkie and family

Khyra The Siberian Husky And Sometimes Her Mom said...

Here's to Toby, his raiser, and the other special partnerships out there!

Hugz&Khysses,
Khyra
PeeEssWoo: Have woo met Ruby?
http://servicepuppyruby.blogspot.com/

BECKY said...

Hi Pat. Yes, those people who raise guide dogs are special, indeed. Great post!

Cozy in Texas said...

What a lovely post. A man in a wheelchair had his service dog with him in church during Easter when it was crowded. They sat at the back and I noticed the dog was laying down but he watched everything that was going on. When we left he was surrounded by young children and it didn't phase him at all. Then I came home to my two rascals.
Ann

Life With Dogs said...

I'm a long time follower - it's great to see you found him!

Sharon McPherson: AUTHOR said...

I had no idea of the preperation and work that goes into this. Thanks for enlightening me. Praise to the raisers and guide dogs the world over!

And praise to you for such an informative and interesting post. :)

Lynn said...

Thanks for sharing that. That would be a difficult job in letting go of Toby.

Dip-Dip and The Bridge said...

Good luck to Toby, hope he will do really well.
Wags, Dip Bridge and Elliot xx

For the Love of Dogs said...

That was a great post about Toby's blog! Thanks for the insight!

The Strawberry Mallard said...

What a wonderful family, a wonderful dog, and oh how I am reminded that there are good people in the world!
Any breeder/owner would be proud of Toby!

Bunta + Yumi said...

I can imagine how important to have good relationship with their raisers, and how hard for the raiser to let go their cutest buddies...

The guide dogs are amazing, and I hope that Toby will be the best guide dog!

Tammy said...

I am always awed and amazed at the great work they do--both service dogs AND their trainers!

ocmist said...

We met Toby during GABE and have become fans... Grammy says she doesn't think she could give up a dog she's worked with so long, but she is so glad that some people are willing to do that so that other's will be able to get helper dogs. OC