Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

From The Seeing Eye archive, a yellow Lab from a different era
No, this isn't Vinson in the photo. It is a Seeing Eye yellow Lab puppy, but he's sitting with a harness in front of a Radio Shack "Micro Computer" - the TRS-80 II, released in 1979. Can you believe that computer retailed for $3,500?

Vinson will have lots of new stories to share on here next week. He's been staying with friends while Sarah and I are traveling and some funny moments have already occurred.

Stay tuned, and in the meantime, have a wonderful holiday celebration with your family, friends and precious canine pals!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Put Your Arm Around a Friend

After having their dinner, Watson and Vinson settled into Watson's big dog bed together, each with their own Nylabone. Watson proceeded to put his arm around his little buddy!

Although Vinson's antics are often compared to those of "Marley", the new drywall in this photo is thankfully not related to puppy play!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

A Very Big Day for Vinson

Ryan & Vinson posing with the new vest [photo: Jill Jaycox, Vinson's Area Coordinator]
This morning after successfully displaying proper behavior and obedience throughout various Morristown locations, Vinson has officially been "vested", and may now wear the official Seeing Eye puppy vest.

The vest represents that Vinson is continuing on the path to ultimately become a Seeing Eye dog. Any time we take Vinson to public events or local businesses who have approved his presence, Vinson will now wear the vest instead of the puppy bandana that the young ones wear.

Typically, vesting happens at around 6 months of age and is handled through your puppy club, issued by your area coordinator. Vinson was about two months behind on puppy club work due to his leg break back in the Spring, so his vesting was a bit delayed. But that takes nothing away from the fact that this is a very big moment on the puppy raising path; and we're super proud of him! Way to go, buddy!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Greeter

Vinson sitting at the entrance to The Seeing Eye this afternoon
Vinson's dream job is to be the official Seeing Eye greeter at the reception desk. He takes advantage of any opportunity to meet new people, say hi to old friends and catch up with canine pals.

Today he was super excited to meet an incredible family from the Philadelphia area. The family's two sons put together what sounds like a very cool and complex haunted house each October; and this year they decided that they wanted to use the event to raise money for The Seeing Eye.

Their haunted house, and the cause, were a huge hit, and the boys raised nearly $500 for The Seeing Eye through the generous donations of their haunted house visitors.

Today, the family made the 2-hour drive to our campus, as they wanted to see the campus, meet some pups and present their hard-earned check in person. Of course, Vinson was thrilled to meet and play with the boys. Everyone had a great time!

Decking the Halls

Today, Seeing Eye staff gathered in the main lobby to trim the holiday tree and place their toys for those in need underneath it. Since this is Vinson's first tree experience I wanted to expose him to the various scents and decorations.

Vinson was very gentle with the tree, but he really had his eye on some of the stuffed toys beneath it! Still, he settled down well enough to "rest" without being held for this photo.

Vinson laying in front of The Seeing Eye's holiday tree and fireplace

Monday, December 12, 2011

Catching Up

Sorry Vinson hasn't shared much of his story in the past two weeks. Here's a quick catch-up:
  • Vinson and Watson have become fast friends, and while Vinson still needs to be reminded to settle down when the big guy is finished playing, they are both loving each other.
  • Since both Vinson and Watson travel to and from work with me, we had some new routines to develop. Watson stays in The Seeing Eye's staff dog housing building, so he needs to be dropped of there with all of his toys and accessories before Vinson and I head up to the office.
  • Vinson enjoyed meeting the Orientation & Mobility students at The Seeing Eye last week.
  • The late cold temperatures have really excited Vinson when we're outside - which is normal. Some of the leash biting and other "old" behaviors have returned slightly when the crisp air meets the pup's excitement.
  • Vinson and Watson are both preparing for extended holiday vacations with friends and family. Vinson will be spending part of the holiday break with Pat and Garcia from The Seeing Eye; and Watson will be spending some time with his puppy raising family.
More to come...

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Beginning to Look More Dog than Pup

Vinson continues to grow at a steady pace and has recently begun noticeably filling out. As much as he looks more like a dog than a puppy, when it comes to energy and attitude, he's still all puppy.

Here's a photo of Vinson laying in the morning sun on the path at The Seeing Eye this morning.
Enjoying the early morning sun, resting like a big boy

Sunday, November 27, 2011

9-Month Birthday Weigh-In

Birthday weigh-in at 9 months of age: 52 pounds.

Happy 9 Months, Vinson!

Today Vinson is nine months old! He's had a great Thanksgiving weekend including an overnight guest, a female boxweiler (boxer-rotweiler mix). Vinson and Watson both loved the gentle nine-year-old, fawn-colored dog; but being the Vinson isn't fixed yet, he was a little over-excited about having a female in the house. Shortly after their greetings, all the pups happily cuddled together for a nap.

Happy birthday, buddy!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Another Positive Vet Visit

Vinson made a stop in at the Highlands Veterinary Clinic in Sparta tonight for his bordetella shot. Thanks to his broken leg at the young age of 8 weeks, Vinson is very schooled in veterinary visits, and immediately tried to hop up on the exam table when we went into the exam room.

Erin, the tech who is a long-time puppy raiser and sibling of a Seeing Eye instructor, was happy to see him and is currently raising a black Lab that has the same father as Vinson!

The office allowed us to also bring Watson with us so he could meet the staff and check out the office. Both were very well behaved and attracted a lot of attention.

And just as with all other inoculations, Vinson didn't squirm or even react. What a cool pup?!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Big Boy Collar

Many have asked why we haven't replaced Vinson's puppy collar. It's not that we didn't intend to (in fact, we bought a new one months ago). It had more to do with Vinson's tendency to treat his collar and leash as chew toys.

Tonight, we officially retired his Seeing Eye-issued puppy collar and reserved a spot for it in Vinson's "hall of shame", as we jokingly refer to the items that he's, ahemm, "produced", stretched, chewed or knotted along the way. Other items for the hall include:
  • Stomach X-rays from his underwear-eating incident
  • Countless leg splint and "cone-of-shame" photos from his big break
  • Tiny Nyalbone chew toys that are now way too small for him
  • His knotted and twisted Seeing Eye-issued puppy leash
His new attire? A Ruff Wear DoubleBack collar in green. Handsome indeed - and we love the flat buckles and quiet, rubber tag attachment.

Vinson sporting his new collar, exhausted after another day's long walk


Vinson has officially crossed the 50 pound mark! Official weight: 50.5 pounds. Next Sunday, he'll be 9 months old.

Puppy Club Fun

Friday night we had another puppy club meeting with Vinson. The meetings get all the current puppy raisers from a particular county or region together to work on specific training exercises, share information and get help with particular issues when required.

Despite his obvious high energy, Vinson did very well and the club leaders and members commented that he seems like he surely will make it through to training. Time will tell, but we're proud of the little guy!

Special thanks to the club member who snapped these photos for us!

Vinson sitting and resting at Sarah's side during a circle exercise

Stepping out on the circle walk as the club leader watches each pup's performance

Vinson's turn to perform the figure eight routine while the others watch

Affectionate reward from Sarah for a job well done

Happy smile

Friday, November 18, 2011

Puppy Club Meeting

Sarah and Vinson just got back from puppy club - Watson and I stayed home and tended the fireplace. Vinson did well at the meeting - will post photos tomorrow.

And then there were Three

Today Vinson had another special time in the field at The Seeing Eye - this time it was Vinson, Garcia and Watson together in the sunshine.

Vinson liked to try and keep the others from getting the ball, and Watson showed some of his hearding instincts as he tried to move Vinson into smaller and smaller portions of the field. Eventually they all rested together and enjoyed the crisp afternoon.

Three happy dogs.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Nick the Mailman

There are plenty of cliches about dogs and mailmen, but I can assure you that the only reason Vinson would attempt to chase one is to get some affection!

Vinson had the pleasure of meeting Nick, the mailman who delivers to The Seeing Eye, and they had a wonderful meeting. Vinson sat nicely and loved all the petting, while Nick and I chatted about the organization, puppy raising, etc.

I think the little guy will be keeping an eye out for that mail truck from now on!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Meeting a Student

Vinson's looking forward to a special meeting later this afternoon. A student in the current class here at The Seeing Eye has been following the blog and would like to meet Vinson in person.

You might think that the students must meet Vinson all the time. While we pass each other frequently, because the students are learning to work with their new dogs, a meeting with Vinson is a no-no. Too much distraction during valuable training time. Of course, with planning, Vinson will happily meet any student - or any person or canine for that matter!

Seeing Eye dog team etiquette tip: If you happen upon a working guide dog team during an outing with your own pet, take special care that your pal doesn't interfere with the working dog or person in any way. They need to remain focused.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Block Head

As Labrador retrievers mature they typically develop a block-like head - some larger than others. Vinson's head is filling out, making his 18" training collar too difficult to remove easily; so today, another milestone: Vinson moves up to the 20" training collar.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Dynamic Duo

Vinson and Watson are quite the odd couple - a small, high-energy Lab pup and his buddy, a giant, stoic shepherd pal. They continued to bond on a hike this morning on the Paulinskill Valley Rail Trail; and they love riding in the car together.

Backseat drivers

Great car riders

After a nice hike

On the Paulinskill Valley Rail Trail

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Good Long Walk and Tired Pups

Vinson and Watson had a nice long walk with Sarah and I this morning. They did great at walking together and are now happily sleeping on their beds, side by side.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Bed Buds

The relationship is progressing fast - Vinson and Watson are already comfortable sharing a dog bed.

Sharing the bed: new pals

Watson as a Pup

Here are a couple of photos of Watson as a 10-week-old puppy from the first time when Sarah and I babysat for a Seeing Eye puppy.
Watson was known for his one floppy ear (now his ears are 6 inches tall)

Watson's first favorite toy - the white tiger

And the "Very Big" Surprise Is...

Watson! That's right, Vinson's very large surprise is that Sarah and I have adopted a Seeing Eye career-change dog - and he happens to be the puppy that we first babysat for and is pictured in Sarah's arms on the "About the Puppy Raisers" page!

Watson is an 83 pound male black and tan German shepherd dog that we've known since he arrived with his puppy raiser - because she too works at The Seeing Eye.

Watson has always been a very calm dog, and he's being very patient with Vinson's puppy energy. Both are making friends already, sharing toys; and when I first crated Vinson to allow Watson a chance to settle in to his surroundings, Watson laid outside the room where Vinson was and rested.

Seems like they're off to a great start as good pals! More to come...

Watson shares his favorite toy with Vinson

Vinson checks out Watson's water, While Watson shows off his big wet nose

Watson tries out Vinson's bed (his own is much bigger)

A Very Big Surprise

Vinson doesn't know it yet, but he's in for a very big surprise this evening. Check back for the story and photos.

Perfect Autumn Field

Vinson in mid stride
Here's Vinson enjoying some exercise on a crisp Autumn day at The Seeing Eye, ears flapping high as always.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Something About a Leaf Pile

There's just something about a big pile of leaves on a sunny, Autumn day. Vinson had a blast playing in a giant pile of leaves on The Seeing Eye campus.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Vinson is starting to fill out - especially in the chest - and his strength is every increasing, yet we're still sure he'll be a medium sized guy when fully grown. Last night's weigh-in: 47 pounds.

Question Number One

Without a doubt, the number one question my wife and I hear as puppy raisers is "how can you give him up?" My quick response is usually "with tears and a smile". Of course there's more to it than that.

Yes, we will be very sad (and so will lots of others due to Vinson's "stardom" at work and in our neighborhood) for our own loss when Vinson no longer shares our home, my office and our daily lives in general.

I like to envision the process as similar to raising a child and seeing them graduate high school and move forward with their life. While the moving on was the intended goal all along, when the moment arrives it is concurrently sad and happy for a proud parent; things will change but success has been achieved.

We are raising Vinson with the hope that he will change a life as the more than 15,500 Seeing Eye dogs have over the past 83 years. Working at The Seeing Eye has given my wife and I a court-side seat to witness the difference these dogs make. That is the answer, the reason, the why and how. It is why we've chosen to be a part of the process, even knowing that will include some moments of sadness.

Puppy raising isn't for everyone, but for us, there is nothing we'd rather be doing.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Power Back.

The power is back on after 8 days in the dark! The animals seem as happy as we are!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Still in the Dark, but Vinson Doesn't Mind

A house just down the street clearly shows why Sparta power has been out for so long
Sarah and I are part of the unlucky 5% of New Jerseyans that are still without electricity following last weekend's freak storm. And while we huddle around the fireplace, cook on a camp stove and read by headlamp, Vinson is taking it all in stride, just as he seems to do with every new situation.

We've taken extra care to ensure Vinson and our cats have extra blankets and cuddle spots in the house. All of them enjoy sitting near (but not too close to) the fireplace; and Vinson now has plenty of exposure to flashlights and various lanterns. Just another week for him, but I can tell you that Sarah and I are more than ready to have heat, hot water, lights and a fridge with food in it!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

First Snow: Vinson Loved It!

Vinson got his first taste of snow (literally) Saturday morning, before the storm got serious. He loved the experience, and started high-prancing around, digging, shoveling with his snout and eating bits that must have reminded him of ice cubes. Here are two photos of his very first snow experience.

Yet another way leaves can once again be interesting - bury them in snow!

Unfazed by the wet snow on his back, Vinson pranced around and sniffed everything. The snow on the road just a few minutes into the storm foreshadowed what was to come.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Incredible Storm, But Vinson Loves the Snow

This is my first chance to post since we lost power Saturday. As you know, Saturday's storm caused incredible damage and power outages. After 4.5 hours of white-knuckle driving in our faithful Subaru, we made it to Vinson's puppy-sitter's and then on to the family wedding (the drive would normally take about 90 minutes).

Even major highways were block by trees and debris, and it seemed that few towns were ready as most of the salt trucks we saw didn't even have plows on them. Regardless, everyone made it where they had to go and back safely.

A quick shot of trees falling across Route 287, blocking multiple lanes
Here are some photos of Vinson inspecting the downed limbs at The Seeing Eye this morning. Thankfully, the only campus damage was to a railing and small patio area that a branch fell on. The grounds crew not only dealt with the early snow but quickly cleared all paths of sticks and branches.

Vinson seems to be asking me why all the branches are in the lawn

Posing to show the remaining snow despite sunshine and daily temperatures in the 50's
Now if we can just get our power, heat and hot water back at home, we'll be back to normal!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Vinson's First Snow will be Sooner than Expected! Winter Storm Warning: 8-12 inches on the way!

We've been excited to watch Vinson's first experience with snow but weren't quite expecting that moment to come before the leaves are off the trees! As I write this, it's already snowing here in Sparta, NJ, and the forecast here now calls for up to 12 inches by Sunday!

It's also a big day for Vinson because he's having another sleepover tonight with his favorite Seeing Eye instructor, Joy, while Sarah and I travel through the snow to a wedding. So, lots of excitement. We'll try and capture some first snow moments on the camera.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The New Smells of Autumn

Vinson is fascinated by his first Autumn - the smells, the blowing leaves, the cooler air, the wet grass, the appearance of busy creatures like deer and squirrels.

Today at The Seeing Eye, he got his first look at a pile of leaves. What a treat! Here is enjoying the fall scents in the air after inspecting the pile.

Vinson tiptoeing through the leaves as he enjoys the Autumn air

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Vinson Graduates to the Training Collar

Vinson recently moved up from the martingale to the official training collar, allowing more direct control and correction. Sometimes people have a difficult time mastering the proper use of a training collar, so Vinson and I put together a brief video to show it in action.

You can watch the video in high definition on The Seeing Eye YouTube channel at

For puppy raisers, never switch your dog to a training collar without first speaking with your area coordinator. Younger dogs should not use these collars, and no training collar should ever be left on an unsupervised or crated dog.

The Gate Escape

Vinson gave us a little surprise at The Seeing Eye. Pat and Garcia were standing just outside my office gate while Pat and I discussed a project. Suddenly there was a commotion, and by the time I peered around my computer monitor, Vinson was standing outside the gate, happily licking his pal, Garcia! By the sound of it, the escape was not graceful.

I'll be keeping a close eye on him to ensure this behavior never repeats; and he loves being in my office. It's just that his adolescent-like energy wouldn't let him resist a chance to see an old pal.

Now, Vinson is sleeping as close to the back of my chair as possible; and he matches the color of his bed quite well.

It's tough to have a bad day at work when you can spin around in your chair and see this!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Joining the Flock

Vinson had his first experience with a large flock of trumpeting geese flying in formation on their journey southward this morning at The Seeing Eye. He stopped in the grass, sat and gazed upward, seemingly amazed. He's used to seeing birds of all types, but the loud sounds eminating from this formation really caught his attention.

The Teenage Years

Vinson has entered another mode of challenging the rules and explosive energy - the puppy equivalent of a teenager testing the limits. He's also growing quite rapidly at the moment.

Some issues we're working on are:

  1. Jumping and biting at the leash on walks, twisting and tugging, etc. With this issue, we're taking the advice of the Pro's at The Seeing Eye and looking at it from the standpoint of reward. Vinson's "reward" in biting and tugging the leash is the game, the attention and interaction. To remove the reward, we tell him "no" and then stop in our tracks, not making eye contact and giving him no attention at all. As soon as he ceases the behavior, we give him big, happy praise and go on with the walk. The idea is that with repetition, eventually Vinson will make the connection the jumping and biting the leash means we don't get to go anywhere and he doesn't get any attention. The hardest part about this? Until Vinson "gets it", a lot of patience is required on walks - and a lot of time.
  2. Resistance barking: This behavior had stopped many months ago, but with Vinson's adolescent growth stage, it's back. He seems impressed with the volume he can put out now, and will occasionally use his bark to make his feelings known, whether it's to remove a cat from his bed or to resist a command we've given. We're working on this one through repeated correction and using the spray bottle when required.
  3. Compulsive behavior - spots on the floor: Just like the barking, the spots-on-the-floor issue is the return of a past problem of Vinson's. Small spots or patterns on floors draw his attention - even if they're just tiny blemishes. He will frantically "dig" and sniff at the spot as if he's about to unearth a pot of golden kibble. This one is a bit challenging - we correct the action, but are not sure what the cause is yet. Like a true show-stealer, Vinson decided to display this trick at last Friday's puppy club meeting!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Vinson's Brief Cameo

Vinson makes a very brief cameo appearance in his pal Garcia's very popular dog's-eye-view video on The Seeing Eye's YouTube channel. See if you can spot him at the end of the cool clip.

The Latest Chews

A maple tree seed
It's been quite a while since I posted a "latest chews" article, thankfully because as Vinson has matured (I use the term loosely), he's stopped most chewing behaviors - but not all.

Recent items of interest include:
  • Leaves! While they used to be a favorite of his, Vinson lost interest in leaves, BUT, the arrival of Autumn breezes filled with circling leaves has completely rekindled his interest. They're boring on the ground, but once they start moving they become a whole new distraction.
  • Deer poop - unfortunately Vinson has recently discovered deer droppings. Frankly I'm not sure how he didn't investigate them earlier on. Regardless, a suspicious nose to the grass and zigzagging pattern alerts me that he's honing in on a deer treat. Swift, repeated correction is the name of the game.
  • Maple tree seeds (we called them "helicopters" as kids).

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

New Perspectives

Shot this quick video this morning using our new GoPro Hero camera.

The first clip shows tightening the martingale collar properly - keep the collar high on the neck and tighten until you can comfortably fit two fingers between the collar and your pup. The second part is a unique perspective of Vinson exploring the Seeing Eye campus.

Watch in 1080p high definition on our YouTube channel.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Breakthrough Cat Moment

Last night, Vinson and one of our cats, Porter, had a huge breakthrough in trust. Vinson has been sniffing at the cats as they pass since he arrived home in April, but none of them would give him a long enough sniff to satisfy his curiosity.

Porter mustered up some bravery and now it appears a strong friendship is on the horizon. Porter laid quietly and let Vinson approach. After completing the sniff-a-thon, Vinson began to lick the cat, covering him with tiny little kisses. Porter purred and let the bath continue - which it did in grand style! Vinson gave more generous licks, leaving the cat looking as if he'd been caught in a rainstorm; but Porter purred.

After the "bath", Vinson and Porter napped together for the first time; and Vinson had his left front paw wrapped around his new friend as they snoozed. Of course, I didn't have a camera handy when this event transpired, but something tells me there will be more cat and Vinson moments to come.

Have You Seen this Man?

 Featured on the homepage, Vinson is promoting the 2011 Seeing Eye holiday cards, which are now on sale. As you can tell from this photo when he was just four months old, Vinson was part of this year's photo shoot and is featured on the actual cards.

You can order your holiday cards online at

More Milestones

Vinson has been a busy boy lately as he continues to grow up. Some of the latest milestones?
  • 33 weeks old
  • 44.5 pounds
  • No accidents in the house in months
Keep up the great work, bud!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Vinson had a great time staying with one of the instructors and her dogs on Friday night. Although it sounds like he was a bit "over-excited" at having two other dogs in the house with him, everyone wore each other out and had a fun time.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Preparing for a Special Slumber Party

Vinson will be getting a special treat Friday night. While Sarah and I are traveling for a wedding, Vinson will be spending the night with a Seeing Eye trainer and her two golden retrievers!

Since Vinson loves all dogs, and already clearly loves this particular instructor, he's in for a great slumber party!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Vinson Receives Fan Mail Card at The Seeing Eye!

Vinson's first fan mail card arrived today!

Vinson was thrilled to receive his first physical fan mail card today. It arrived at The Seeing Eye addressed to "Vincent, Puppy in Training", and contained a wonderful letter written to him about how great it was to meet him in person at the recent open house.

Vinson enjoying the crinkly ears on his new bunny
After reading the card to him, Vinson got a reward, courtesy of our friends at HUGGLEHOUNDS - a plaid and corduroy bunny toy with various squeakers and his new favorite, crinkly ears!

New Exposure

Vinson spent the last four days being exposed to something new - home remodeling! During a summer home project I discovered that our house was not insulated, so before another cold winter sets in, Sarah and I took on the project of ripping out drywall, installing insulation and re-drywalling the rooms.

Because of the mess of dust, nails, etc. during the project, the rooms were a no-puppy zone. Using the gates and moving his toys and bed, Vinson relocated to the kitchen for the duration. He could hear and see us, and at first whined to be with us. But within just a few minutes he seemed to understand the new situation, and for the remainder of the project, he made no complaints, happily sleeping in his bed in the kitchen and greeting us when we entered the room to bring him out, etc.

What a great guy?!

More new posts to come now that the computer is back online at home!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Gran Fondo NJ 2011 Video Recap

See a few glimpses of Vinson on The Seeing Eye's Gran Fondo recap video. Full 1080p high definition available on our YouTube channel.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tooth Brushing

Just brushed Vinson's teeth and he actually really enjoyed it. Way to go, bud!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Happy 30 Weeks, Vinson!

Weigh-in: 40.2 pounds

Hiking at Mahlon Dickerson Reservation

Sarah and I enjoyed our first day off in quite a while and took advantage of the blue skies to take Vinson out on a hike. We explored a bit of the Mahlon Dickerson Reservation in Jefferson.

Vinson had a blast taking in the scents of the forest and meeting other hikers.

Sarah and Vinson on the trail

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Having a Blast at the Open House

Vinson is really enjoying the Seeing Eye open house. He's meeting lots of people and tons of puppies. Just got done participating in a puppy club circle demonstration - video to follow shortly.

Vinson with friends in the puppy raising tent

Friday, September 23, 2011

Fast Asleep, Looking Forward to the Open House

Vinson is fast asleep after enjoying his evening at The Seeing Eye brick dedication ceremony. Rainy weather didn't dampen the spirits of the 200 people who turned out to see their etched bricks and socialize with Seeing Eye supporters, staff, and of course, canines!

The little guy is definitely in for another big day tomorrow as The Seeing Eye welcomes 900 people for it's first public open house in 30 years. The day will be filled with training demonstrations, property tours, videos, presentations and a tent full of puppy raisers and their current pups!

Photos and video to come soon.

Another Weekend of Meet-and Greet Events

Vinson is geared up to meet lots of new friends tonight and tomorrow, despite the rainy weather (which he loves anyway!).

This evening, he'll be attending the brick dedication ceremony, celebrating the opening of our new "Path to Independence" made up of etched bricks lining the front of The Seeing Eye's main building.

On Saturday, Vinson will be attending The Seeing Eye's first open house event in over 30 years!

Looking forward to meeting everyone!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Crate Friends

Vinson loves to mimic Garcia's actions. This morning, while Pat and I were meeting in my office, Garcia picked up a Nylabone, walked into Vinson's open crate and laid down, followed by his favorite shadow, Vinson. The two of them calmly played with their wishbone toy for a few minutes and I managed to capture some on this quick video.

Full 1080p high definition available on our YouTube channel -

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Gran Fondo Finish Line

Here's a photo from Sunday's Gran Fondo NJ bike event. Vinson represented The Seeing Eye all weekend, and still sat patiently, ready to cheer on the Seeing Eye riders!

Vinson, ready to cheer

Vinson & Garcia Take the Field

Vinson and his buddy, Garcia, finally got a chance to run in the field together at The Seeing Eye. We setup one camera on a tripod and carried another handheld to get the shots.

Full 1080p HD available on our YouTube channel.

Bed to the Bone

Vinson absolutely loves his new dog bed, but he doesn't like to be in it without some of his toys, in this case, a chicken-scented Nylabone.
Vinson and his bones in bed

Making sure the bone stays put

Monday, September 19, 2011

Morris Frank Park

In between locations during Sunday's Gran Fondo NJ bike event, Sarah and Vinson stopped at Morris Frank park to visit the statue of The Seeing Eye's founder and his guide dog, Buddy. At first, Vinson sniffed and licked the strangely-still German shepherd. Then he sat nicely and posed for this photo.

Sarah & Vinson at Morris Frank Park

Sunday, September 18, 2011

On Our Way to the Gran Fondo NJ Bike Ride

A bright-and-early morning as we head off to video and cheer-on the riders in today's Gran Fondo NJ bike ride! Come on out to cheer on our team of riders!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Passed Out

After a day of GREAT behavior and lots of petting from young and old alike, Vinson is now passed out in his new Orvis bed, resting up for tomorrow's Gran Fondo! We'll see all the riders and spectators at the ride start, the rest stop in Gladstone and at the finish line!

Vinson opens his eyes for a quick photo in his new bed

A Fantastic Day at Greenberry's Coffee Company

The Seeing Eye had great representation and an awesome turnout of supporters at Greenberry's today! With our table setup outside in the nice weather, lots of puppy raisers, graduates, current students, volunteers and musicians, we were a big attraction and spoke to many passers-by about our mission.

Highlights included great music performances (including one by a Seeing Eye instructor), fantastic food and cafe drinks from Greenberry's, coffe-shop staff inquiring about volunteering at The Seeing Eye, riders in tomorrow's Grand Fondo NJ stopping by to learn more and enjoy some refreshments, many people getting to meet Vinson, Garcia and the crew of Seeing Eye canines, and incredibly generous donations from so many - both through Greenberry's and individual donations.

A huge thanks goes out to all involved, and especially Greenberry's and the musicians. Vinson is currently sound asleep after a long day and in preparation for an early morning at the Gran Fondo NJ starting line!

Here are some photos from today's event.

Sarah & Vinson, Holly, Pat & Garcia as we prep for the day
Seeing Eye president, Jim, and his wife Ginger wore their Seeing Eye Gran Fondo NJ jerseys to today's event. They're riding in tandem bike teams in tomorrow's ride.
A dedicate group of puppy raisers and their pups showed up for the day.
Seeing Eye puppy raisers and their pups added fun for all

A Seeing Eye instructor shared his musical tallents

A dog-in-training's view of the musical show

Lots of dogs showed up, including these toy manchesters

Another great musician performs to a crowded cafe

A full house enjoyed the treat and fun, and supported The Seeing Eye at the same time!