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...our new family member! She is 18 months old, 3/4 golden retriever, 1/4 golden lab (yes, I know she looks more like a lab :laugh: ).

 

Our story:

 

Our family recently got involved as as-needed dog sitters with a group that raises puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind organization (socialization, very comfortable with many people/situations, and basic universal dog training). At 15-18 months, the dogs are tested to see if they are suitable for going on for the intensive guide dog training. Those who don't make that high hurdle are "career changed", either to other helper dog programs, or are they are adopted out to families. And that is how our sweetie came to us. :)

 

Our new puppy will never replace our last puppy (my avatar), the sweetest dog ever, but she is already filling the big dog-sized hole we've had in our home for over a year now, and we just brought her home today! :)

 

And speaking of which, I just want to do a big shout-out to these puppy raising groups for Guide Dogs for the Blind. It's such a privilege, terrific volunteer work to be a part of, and we've met some wonderful families in just the few short months we've started attending. Our group is a based around a 4-H group, so many of the puppy raisers are middle/high school aged students, as well as a few college students, and a few adults. It's definitely a family friendly activity! :)

 

That means we know the people who raised her, and we're able to treat it as a sort of "open adoption", as the two families who co-raised/trained her will still get to see her whenever we're able to take her to the group meetings.

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She's gorgeous! Congrats!

 

We had a yellow lab who had to be put down the day I gave birth to my youngest. That was >18 years ago, and I'm still not over it. Can't get another one. Can't let myself love that much again. 

 

I'm glad for her to have such a great home and I'm glad you all have her to love. 

 

 

Edited by Angie in VA
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We had a yellow lab who had to put down the day I gave birth to my youngest. That was >18 years ago, and I'm still not over it. Can't get another one. Can't let myself love that much again. 

 

Oh Angie...  :crying:  :crying:  :crying:

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She's gorgeous! Congrats!

 

We had a yellow lab who had to put down the day I gave birth to my youngest. That was >18 years ago, and I'm still not over it. Can't get another one. Can't let myself love that much again. 

 

I'm glad for her to have such a great home and I'm glad you all have her to love. 

 

 

I had a yellow lab like that. Best dog ever. My avatar pic. We have a new dog now (hound dog mix from the shelter), because my kids needed to have a dog, but I will never love another dog like I loved my lab.  

 

Lori, your pup is lovely!! Congrats! :hurray:  :hurray:

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Congratulations! She's beautiful!!! And she looks like such a sweetie. She may have more the coat of a lab, but I definitely see tons of golden retriever in her in the photos--the head and body shape, the face and eyes (that classic golden expression!), and the antics! Reminds me so much of our beloved golden retriever that we lost 2 years ago. He also left a big dog-sized hole in our lives... which I am currently filling by adoring other peoples' dogs. ;) I so agree--our sweet puppy (well, he was 6) could never be replaced, but I do hope to get another golden retriever someday. So glad to hear your new pup is filling the void already.  :)  Wishing you many happy years ahead with her!  :)

 

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She's a sweetie! And already trained! Perfect. What are you naming her? [Edited to say: she already has a name, DUH. What is it? Sipping more coffee to wake up my brain.]

 

That sounds like a wonderful program. You've got to have a generous heart to be able to care for dogs like that only to say goodbye to them after a year or so together. Another good thing people do to make me smile this morning.

Edited by fralala
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Beautiful! I’m intrigued by this program, too. My 11 yo dd has extreme anxiety and LOVES animals. I think she’d love to be a part of a program like that (& would benefit from it!)

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Lori - What's her name? DD#2 is sketching her from one of the pictures & wants to label her sketch appropriately.  :coolgleamA:

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Oh you all are so sweet to rejoice with us! 

 

RootAnn, that is lovely of your DD to sketch her! I'll be excited to see her completed artwork!

 

HopeistheWord, here's the link to the organization: Guide Dogs for the Blind: Puppy Raising. It is super hard to say good-bye to the dogs at the end of having raised them for 12-15 months. Many tears and tissues, even though you know they are going on to do an awesome job. So just a heads-up on that, as that's why DH is unwilling to be a raiser, and why we are just dog sitters. ;)

 

Her name is Sarella. (apparently the name is one of the 7 step-sisters (Sand Snakes) from one of George RR Martin's Game of Thrones books)

 

I am not totally wild about the name, but we love her. :) We decided it would be best to keep the name since she's already 18 months old, and as part of the puppy raising program, the dogs are swapped around a bit, and also spend time with approved/trained dog sitters (like us :) ), in order to help them be flexible and accepting of their formal guide dog trainers and ultimate sight-impaired master. So, we felt it best to keep her name, as it is the only consistent point for her at the moment, and as it will take her a while to really click that *this* is home and we are *family* -- and that we are not just another switch to puppy sitting her.

 

And, her name does keep the book-related names still going, as our other two dogs were book-related -- one an author and the other a book character. :)

 

 

ETA:

Squee! Today we are also getting to puppy-sit (just for the day), one of the new 8-week-old puppies who just arrived on Saturday, and the family had a previous commit for the whole day. So.much.puppy.play-- and then conking out for a nap!  :laugh: This little sweetie is also a lab-retriever mix and looks just like our new dog -- it's like getting the gift of seeing what our Sarella was like as a little one. 

Edited by Lori D.
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Congratulations!!!  She is adorable. 

 

We have been Puppy Walkers/Raisers for service puppies in Canada for several years. We currently foster a dog in their breeding program, and occasional short-term boarding/fostering. All are truly wonderful experiences. 

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Here is DD's sketch of Sarella.

 

Oh my goodness RootAnn, that is lovely! Your DD is a wonderful artist! :) We are honored to have our dog "model" for her. :)

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That sounds like a wonderful program. You've got to have a generous heart to be able to care for dogs like that only to say goodbye to them after a year or so together. Another good thing people do to make me smile this morning.

 

Well, she has been "career changed" by Guide Dogs of America, as she did not clear the last rigorous testing to go on to do the intensive guide dog training. Sometimes they career change the dogs into a different helper dog program, but sometimes they feel the dog would be best adopted into a forever family. And that's us! 

 

And, I totally agree about the generous hearts of the actual puppy raisers (we're just temporary puppy sitters) for the dogs who live with them for over a year, and they pour in training and love, only to send the dogs on to become "eyes" for someone. What a gift!

Edited by Lori D.
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My SIL used to raise and train dogs for them! Dog people can be just amazing.

 

Congratulations on your new sweetie!

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