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It’s been about a month since I dropped off Apache at Guide Dog College and I decided to take a little puppy raiser vacation…or so I thought. A couple days after drop off I found myself puppy sitting little 8 week old Toby for 2 weeks. Toby was recently re-homed and is happily living with his new puppy raisers.
A couple days after I brought Toby back to Guide Dogs of America I started a second puppy sitting assignment. I picked up Journey, a 7 month old yellow Labrador Retriever!
Over the past 2 weeks Journey and I went on many adventures working on his socialization as well as his house manners and basic obedience.
Can A Puppy Raiser Take A Vacation?
Some people think that puppy raisers have to do everything with their puppy. While we are lucky enough to get the privilege to take our puppies to many different public places including grocery stores, movie theaters, shopping malls, restaurants, etc. we do not nor do we have to take them everywhere we go. Some situations may be too stressful for a young puppy. Sometimes we just need a break from our puppy and maybe our puppy could use a little alone time in his kennel.
The past couple weeks Journey’s puppy raisers went on vacation and elected not to take Journey along (as I mentioned guide dog puppies in training don’t have to do everything their puppy raisers do). So what’s a puppy raiser to do if he goes on vacation without his guide pup? If you’re a puppy raiser with Guide Dogs of America and you’re puppy is over 6 months of age then you have 2 options:
- You can have a fellow puppy raiser puppy sit your pup. Check with your group leader if you’re having trouble finding a puppy sitter.
- Your puppy can stay at Camp GDA aka the GDA kennels (Puppies have to be over 6 months of age)
My Adventures With Journey
We talked a little bit about Journey last week when Linus’ tail was getting into all sorts of mischief. We’re dedicating this week to our adventures with Journey – guide pup in training!
Journey did awesome at the hockey game. All the action, people, and crazy noises didn’t bother him one bit! Also, I don’t think he really minded the extra attention from smelly people wearing helmets and cages. Good boy Journey!
District in Tustin
We worked on Journey’s loose leash heeling around the District in Tustin (an outdoor shopping mall). I let Journey stand by a few water fountains…he didn’t jump in, but with the current heat wave I’m sure he felt the urge.
Dog Days of Fullerton
It was scorching hot at the Dog Days of Fullerton, but Journey stayed at his post representing Guide Dogs of America at the GDA booth. We made sure and drank lots of water and kept cool with water bowl’s full of ice.
Sepulveda Golf Tournament
Another scorching hot day at Green River Golf Club!
Journey is a sponsored puppy. So what does that mean? It means a person or organization has made a $5,000 donation to cover the initial costs to raising a puppy. In return sponsors receive photographs and a written update quarterly, and your name will be embroidered on the puppy jacket. If your puppy successfully completes its training course, and is scheduled to graduate, you will receive an invitation to the GDA Awards Ceremony with special recognition of your generosity. If you’re interested in sponsoring a puppy visit: GDA Sponsored Puppy.
Sepulveda Building Materials (Journey’s sponsor) has an annual charity golf tournament and generously donates all of the proceeds to Guide Dogs of America. Since Journey is sponsored by Sepulveda Building Materials we felt compelled to volunteer by greeting all the golfers at hole #17, provide fruit, snacks, and refreshments.
Journey and I did a lot during our two weeks together. Last night Journey got to go back to his puppy raising family and once again it’s down to me, Ali, Linus, and Stetson at the old homestead. So maybe now I’ll get a chance to take a little break from puppy raising. So far my record for consecutive days without a puppy is 2! I think I’ll be able to beat that record this week…wish me luck!
I know there are a lot of puppy raisers out there. Does it seem like you’re always raising a puppy? Do you ever take a vacation from puppy raising? Tell us about it in the comment section below.
Top Picks For Our Puppies
- BEST PUPPY TOY
We Like: Snuggle Puppy w/ Heart Beat & Heat Pack - Perfect for new puppies. We get all of our Service Dog pups a Snuggle Puppy.
- BEST DOG CHEW
We Like: Best Bully Sticks - All of our puppies love to bite, nip, and chew. We love using Bully Sticks to help divert these unwanted behaviors.
- BEST DOG TREATS
We Like: Wellness Soft Puppy Bites - One of our favorite treats for training our service dog puppies.
Check out more of our favorites on our New Puppy Checklist.