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February 20th, 2013

Delmarva Puppy Raisers, Guiding Eyes for The Blind, Free of Charge, Personal Freedon, Independence, Freedom, Dignity, Raising a Guide Dog Puppy is…A Lesson in Life


I was so happy to attend a very special evening with Chicks for Charity Southern Delaware.  The charity picked for February’s dinner at Fish On in Lewes, Delaware, was Delmarva Puppy Raisers.  It was such a neat evening with so many community residents in attendance, along with a couple of canines.


Guiding Eyes for the Blind is an internationally accredited guide school, providing greater independence, dignity, and new horizons of opportunity.  It is a leading, nonprofit 501(3) guide school.  Since 1954 they have provided thousands of blind and visually impaired people with specially bred and trained dogs that grant them greater independence.  Their headquarters are located at 611 Granite Springs Rd., Yorktown Heights, NY 10598.  Tel. 1-866-GEB-LABS.  Website?

I met Barbara and Randy.  They have raised several puppies and have been involved with the company for quite some time.  I believe Babara is the Director of the Delmarva Puppy Raisers.  They meet in Milford, Delaware, a couple of times a month.  Randy had Jagger with him last night.  He was gorgeous and very well behaved 1 year old.


I was so curious to find out how they could give the dog up after spending 1 to 1 1/2 years with him or her.  They said it is hard, but at the same time you know the person that receives the dog gets a special gift; a life changing gift.  And, then, another puppy comes along and the process starts all over again.  Puppy raisers have first choice on adopting a dog they have raised if the dog is retired or for whatever reasons the dog is not going into the program.  Barbara and Randy have 2 of those dogs that in the past they have raised.

These dogs are so special.  It costs over $45,000 to breed, raise, train, and match each Guiding Eyes dog with its visually impaired handler.  These services are provided absolutely free of charge!!  Each Guiding Eyes puppy is specially bred for superior health and temperament.  They are born at their Canine Development Center in Patterson, N.Y.  Immediately, after birth their training starts somewhat.  Randy told me that when they get the puppies at 8 weeks, they already have basic commands down pat.


I asked Randy if they let him get on the bed….oh no.  Not on the bed or sofa or eating human food.  That simple.

And then I met Diamond.  This little girl was only 10 weeks old and adorable.  She is going to be great.  Alert, fun, and very well behaved too.


I was asking Randy if he follows the dog once they give him or her back.  He said that it is up to the person that receives the dog.  Some do keep in touch and others, don’t.

If you are interested in becoming a puppy raiser, the first thing to do is complete the application at  A Guiding Eyes representative will contact you to discuss the next steps, which will be to attend pre-placement classes, meet your puppy, classes..etc. etc.

After puppy raising, the puppy will return to Guiding Eyes for evaluation by their professional staff.  Most dogs will continue on to formal guide dog training.

In 2007, Guiding Eyes for The Blind launched Heeling Autism, which is a service dog program in which they train select Guiding Eyes dogs to provide safety for children with autism.  The puppy you raised might be one of those.

If you want to talk to Barbara Byle, please call her at 302-422-3522.  There are Puppy Raising regions in Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Delaware, Connecticut, New York, Ohio, Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina.

I was so amazed and pleased to hear that in December there were about 50 of those puppies being raised by Delmarva Puppy Raisers.

Have a good one!!

Note:  Information for this post was taken from their brochures.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, February 20th, 2013 at 11:37 pm and is filed under Delaware, Delaware Beaches, General, Milford, Services, Southern Delaware, Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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