Helping Others with Guide Dogs of America
Since July 2000, Canine Creek's owners have been puppy raisers for Guide Dogs of America, a non-profit Guiding Eyes Program that raises and trains dogs for the vision impaired from across the United States and Canada, at no cost to the people who receive them. We are very proud of the puppies we've raised, and are honored to be involved with this wonderful organization.
The name links below will take you to the diaries we've kept on the GDA dogs we've worked with in the past six years. Being a puppy raiser is a unique way of loving dogs, while helping others who are less fortunate. Hopefully these stories may inspire another dog lover to become a service dog puppy raiser.
Our First GDA Puppy
The adorable little fellow pictured is our beloved Brando -- a male Labrador Retriever. He was born at the GDA 8-acre campus on May 25, 2000. His four brothers and sisters are also learning to be guide dogs.
Kernel Comes Home - Our 2nd Dog
Knowing how hard it would be for us to leave Brando's in-for-training day with an empty leash, we asked GDA for another puppy to raise. We meant a "new" 8 week old puppy, of course, but the handsome boy on the right with the devilish grin is what we came home with. Kernel is a 14 month old male Lab who's first puppy raiser family did not have time to work with him, so he was returned to the campus.
Jedi the Wonder Pup
Would you believe this huge puppy is only 4 months old? The photo at right was taken on the afternoon we picked Jedi up from the Guide Dogs of America campus. Even after a full day at school and a 2 hour car ride home, he was still ready to take on the challenge of meeting the rest of our pack.
Darby, Our First Girl
I am just a little more than four months old, but I'm extremely smart and (dare I say it) the cutest yellow Labrador on the planet. I was a bit of a "puppy handful" for my first foster family, so now I am living at Almosta Ranch with my new foster parents and five other big dogs.
Winston - Brando's Brother
Once Darby, puppy number four, was safely in the hands of the GDA trainers, it was only a matter of time before the call came asking if we wanted to raise another dog. The answer was, of course, YES. We were especially excited that we would be receiving a baby this time, after the challenge of three "re-home" dogs in a row.
....and Vito Makes Six
With our 7 year old Great Dane only two weeks out of surgery from a life-threatening case of bloat, and an ancient 15 year old Dalmatian to care for, the last thing we needed was another guide dog puppy. But who could say no to this face? Well, certainly not us. Meet Vito...
Luck Number Seven
The 7th, and our last GDA puppy-in-training was Simon, a yellow Labrador Retriever, who was, and still is, a big hit in Tehachapi CA. He became an official Ambassador of the Greater Tehachapi Chamber of Commerce and won the hearts over of everyone he met around town. Although dropped from the GDA program due to bad hips, he continues supporting the GDA program via dog blogging on his Facebook page.