Little Tony arrived on November 8th, 2008 but I just received the information yesterday. Tony is a male black lab who has now been assigned to his puppy raiser who will start socializing him in preparation for his guide dog training! This is the first picture of many- showing Tony hard at work in the office of his Puppy Raiser waiting for the next part of the day. You’ll be seeing lots and lots on this great dog!
Mermaid Cottages sponsors a guide dog puppy every year as our very small way of giving back and to honor our guests, home owners and mermaid team. We’ve been waiting for our puppy information all last year ( there was a back log of puppies waiting to be sponsored) so we haven’t had a puppy to update everyone on regularly. But that is now changed!!!! The Southeast Guide Dog school www.guidedogs.org
is outstanding and we can look forward to lots of pictures as Tony grows. The first 18 months are spent with their Puppy Raiser who’s main responsibility is to socialize and make sure Tony is a very well behaved dog. He’ll go everywhere with his person, learning and after his 18 Months with her, he’ll go back to the school for his formal guide dog training. As long as everything goes smoothly, he’ll be a guide dog. If for some reason he doesn’t make it, most likely his career will be doing some other type of service work. Danny- my golden lab- was a career change dog as many of you all know.
Tony the dog is named after Tony Petrea, Junior to honor his life. Tony was a wonderful young man who died way too young. He was loved by so many of us here on Tybee , he loved animals and was a great help to me with several of my projects over the years. His birthday was yesterday – which I did not know until I took the picture of Tony to show his parents. They- like all of us will be following along with Tony’s progress!
My friend, CJ from Marriott , is how I became involved with both raising guide dogs and sponsoring Guide Dogs. I’d like to share an email and YouTube video he put together last year when his most recent dog went off with his blind person. I tell CJ all the time he changed my life, without his guidance and assurance I never would have taken on my first puppy, never would have had Danny and Max in my life and now would never be sponsoring a guide dog yearly which truly does change a person’s life! Here in CJ’s own words….
“Over the past several years all of our friends have accommodated in to various degrees the inclusion of a dog whenever/wherever Bev and I go. Bev and I want each of you to know how much we appreciate your support and wanted to share with you this little video of Elvis that was made by his new owner, Wendy Slominsky of Millersville, PA. We met with her this past weekend for Elvis’ graduation ceremony in New York, and we were immediately taken with this wonderful woman and her husband. She and Elvis formed an instant bond, and they will undoubtedly have a fantastic life together.
When we returned from our trip, we received an email on Monday morning describing how after only a couple of days together, Elvis had successfully avoided a large 5 foot hole in the ground that wasn’t roped off, and was directly in Wendy’s path. A woman who witnessed Elvis safely guiding her around the obstacle stopped Wendy to explain what had just happened.
Bottom line is that without of lot of your direct and in-direct help, Bev and I wouldn’t be able to be as successful as we’ve been in raising these dogs. So we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for always welcoming our four legged friends as part of the Bev and CJ package.”