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Dog's Life: Work of Dogs
Learning to let go of a guide dog in training
Guiding Miss Ellie
It was a few years into my post-corporate, stay-at-home freelance life that I had the brainstorm. Feeling lonely and useless, I had been driving my husband, Andy, nuts. My life felt small. And the smaller it felt, the more impossible I became. Disgusted by my self-loathing, and sick of taking it out on the one guy I loved, I realized that it was time to pull myself together and focus my energy...
Blog: Guest Posts
So You Think You Want to Train Guide Dogs?
A challenging and rewarding career
Earlier this month, my Seeing Eye dog Harper and I gave a guest lecture to an animal sciences class at the University of Illinois. I told the students what it’s been like transitioning to a new Seeing Eye dog, and I went over some of the qualifications necessary to become a Seeing Eye trainer/instructor. Trainers at the Seeing Eye need to have a college degree, and then they can apply for an...
Blog: Guest Posts
The Whirlwind Life of a Guide Dog Puppy—with Video
Caleb’s first plane trip, photo shoot and evaluation
Last week was a big development week for Caleb. He took his first plane trip, met our delightful friend and photographer Amanda Jones (video below), explored San Francisco, and had his six-month evaluation with our field representative from Guide Dogs for the Blind.  While in theory it would be great to have our dogs always travel with us, I can tell you from years of experience it’s not as easy...
Blog: Guest Posts
We Love Our Puppy Raisers
Rutgers students volunteer with future Seeing Eye dogs
I’ve been home three months with my new Seeing Eye dog Harper. He’s a two-year-old yellow bundle of Labrador energy, and not a day goes by where I don’t think of—and thank—the wonderful volunteer who raised him as a puppy. Harper and I trained for three weeks at the Seeing Eye last December. Before we left for home, our instructor read me Harper’s “puppy profile.” Each person who volunteers to...
Blog: Karen B. London
Service Dogs Named After Fallen Soldiers
They honor and assist those in the military
Fleet bears the name of one soldier and serves as the legs for another. He is a 15-week old Golden Retriever who is being trained as a service dog for Josh Craven. Craven lost one leg while serving as a soldier in Iraq and has had six surgeries on the other leg. When he returns home from Walter Reed Medical Hospital in a few months, he will be joined by Fleet who by then will be a fully trained...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Borrow a Dog at the Library
Yale Law lets students “check out” the resident therapy pup
Last week, Yale Law School’s library started offering therapy dog services on a trial basis. Interest has been high, so it’s hopeful that the program will continue. Students can sign up at the circulation desk to “check out” Monty, a certified therapy dog, for 30-minute sessions of stress busting. The Border Terrier-mix belongs to librarian Julian Aiken, so he’s well loved even when he’s “off...
Blog: Guest Posts
Big Changes for Little Caleb
Neutering and operant conditioning training for future Guide Dog
It’s hard to believe little Caleb is already six-months-old. He’s become such a fixture in our routines that we all feel a bit off when that routine is interrupted. But it’s something we have to do in order to prepare Caleb for his future as a well-socialized canine ambassador. This month that interruption will be a big one—at least for little Caleb—he’s getting neutered.   Not all Guide Dog for...
Blog: Guest Posts
Search Dogs Travel to Japan to Sniff Out Survivors
Follow their progress online
A dozen American search-and-rescue dogs are on the ground in Japan to search for survivors after last week’s earthquake and tsunami.   Riley, Baxter, Pearl, Hunter, Cadillac and Joe were trained by the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation (SDF) and are based with firefighters in California. They’re currently at work in the hard-hit city of Ofunato. According to a CNN report, another group of...
Blog: Guest Posts
New ADA Regulations Narrow Service Animal Definition
But will it solve the problem of badly behaving humans?
Starting today, March 15, 2011, only service dogs and trained miniature horses are protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Monkeys, rodents and reptiles, among others, are no longer permitted to accompany individuals with disabilities into places of public accommodation.   Department of Justice regulations (implementing Title III of the ADA) used to define a service animal as “...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Therapy Through a Dog’s Eyes
Seattle hospital attaches cameras to their therapy pups
When I visit the hospital with Nemo, as part of the Good Dog Foundation therapy program, it’s so rewarding to see the joy the dogs bring to the patients. Pets have an amazing ability to cheer up people and it always brings a smile to my face. Now everyone can enjoy the power of pet therapy, even if you’re not in the hospital. The Swedish Medical Center in Seattle, Wash., created their own therapy...

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