Tuesday, April 3, 2012

and then the Phone Rang

Just got off the phone with Jill, our Puppy Development Area Coordinator. It was the call we knew would be coming soon; Vinson is being summoned back to The Seeing Eye for processing into the training program!

This is a monumental moment in the puppy raising process - the goal we've been shooting for but the bittersweet moment when Vinson's time with us must come to an end.

The Seeing Eye provides raisers with an adequate return window of time to accomodate family planning and allow for flexibility. Vinson must be handed over to Jill between April 23 and May 10.

It should be said that being called back for training does not guarantee Vinson will complete the program. He will go through thorough medical and behavioral evaluations, and then move on to harness training. At any point during this time a problematic issue could eliminate him from guide consideration. But for now, aside from his wild puppy energy, we have no reason to think our little friend won't go on to do big things. And if he doesn't, he's got a permanent home with Sarah, Watson and myself on standby.

Once Vinson goes in, I will no longer be able to interact with him as that can cause distraction and interfere with the need for him to bond with his trainer. This will be difficult for me since I will inevitably see him around campus.

My hope is to have some kennel and training staff share information which I can post on this blog so we can all learn about our pup's experience once they leave us. 

It's just a few weeks now... Stay tuned. The part that people always ask us about is coming.


  1. This is such a bittersweet time for you, as well as forthcoming for Vinson. Your blog today has brought tears of joy and sadness for a moment that was to eventually happen. You should feel very proud. Vinson is a handsome boy and will make someone a wonderful guide dog. I hope you get another pup to raise. You did a great job with Vinson.

  2. Hi- I so enjoy following his progress through your postings. But I've been dreading this one cause I too knew it was coming. Vinson is an amazing puppy who will go on to do amazing things by either helping someone with limited vision gain their independence or become a valued member of a family. However, as someone who adopted a dog who "failed" the Seeing Eye program, I'm thankful every day to the puppy raisers who put taught her how to love, basic commands and in general, good manners. So I thank the Seeing Eye every morning when I open my eyes & she's there to great me with a kiss. Whatever Vinson does...you have laid the foundation, and someone will be eternally grateful. Thank you Puppy Raisers for shaping these little fur balls into amazing dogs.

  3. Can I ask how old Vinson is now? I hope you keep up with your blog and let us know how his transitions through the upcoming phases progress. I have so enjoyed reading about his antics and learning over his time with you. Bless you as a puppy raiser for a great cause.

  4. Thanks everyone for the warm comments!

    Vinson is now just over 13 months of age, so he'll be approximately 14 months old when he goes in for training.