One Second A Day – GDB Guide Dog In Training (Lombard)
On Feburary 22 2015, A 10 week old Golden Retriever cross puppy named Lombard came off the “Puppy Truck”. Every day I took a short video of him to document his growth as a guide dog puppy in training. I had hopes that one day he would become the eyes for someone else and give them independence. My goal was to start this video at the puppy truck and end the video when he went back for recall for formal training.
As a puppy raiser, it is my job to set the foundational training which includes basic commands, manners, and socialization. A puppy raiser spends approximately 12-15 months with the dog making sure that he/she is ready for the next step in their training. Once they go back to formal training, they learn to wear a harness and the actual skills to become a guide dog. These dogs have very important jobs and very big shoes to fill.
However, it’s not for every dog. As much as I wanted Lombard to succeed. He wanted something different. The high stress working environment was too much for Lombard’s soft personality. He become anxious which made him itch himself, chew on his tail/legs, and shake all the time. He also developed ball obsession where he would fixate on balls (even on the TV screen). This of course, did not help his anxiety. He was released from the guide dog in training program in January 2016 and I adopted him to be my pet. He spends his days chasing balls, destroying toys, getting dirty, and going hiking. I am working on certifying him to become a therapy dog in the near future!
Lombard (Gumbo) was raised through Guide Dogs for the Blind. They have two guide dog campuses in San Rafael, CA and Boring, OR. GDB prepares highly qualified guide dogs to serve and empower individuals who are blind or have low vision. All of their services are provided free of charge; they receive no government funding.
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