Jan 17th, 2021
3 min read

My Favorite Experience as a Puppy Raiser: Danelle

Radcliff, a black Lab Puppy in Training (at the time), with his green jacket
Radcliff with his green jacket

My name is Danelle Hall and I am a puppy raiser in the GDB Bellevue puppy raising club. I am currently raising my second puppy, but today I am going to share one of my favorite memories with my first puppy in training, Radcliff. Radcliff is a male black lab.

My favorite puppy raising memory happened a few years ago. Radcliff came to my family off the puppy truck at the age of about 11 weeks. This itself was an amazing experience, being handed a cute little puppy that you will have the opportunity to raise into a smart, well-trained dog. About a week later, Radcliff and I went on his first big outing. We went on an adventure with our club members to a super fun GDB event hosted by a nearby puppy club.

We took a ferry to the club's high school, where we gathered with some other clubs and puppy raisers. There were over 50 GDB puppies and their raisers, along with some puppy sitters learning more about raising. There, everyone gathered for lunch and a presentation, and afterwards we broke off to go to training stations around the school. I worked with Radcliff for most of the time, but also had the opportunity to swap dogs with some of my club members and work with them, and some of our clubs puppy sitters had the chance to work with Radcliff!

GDB Puppy in Training, Radcliff with his green puppy jacket, in front of a pool.
Radcliff with his green puppy jacket looking at the camera, in front of a pool.

Overall, it was an amazing learning experience for everyone, both dogs and handlers. Radcliff learned how to settle while we ate lunch, how to walk on many new surfaces and stairs, and work calmly around other dogs. The older dogs learned about riding a ferry and a school bus. The puppy raisers and sitters also learned a lot of new things and had the chance to work with more dogs. I had an amazing time, and I feel like I grew a lot as a raiser that day, especially because I was new to puppy raising.

The guide dogs community is so kind and supportive, and we all learn from each other, and that is part of what made this one of my favorite memories with GDB. The best part is that there are constantly opportunities like this for learning in the GDB community. Whether it is workshops, club meetings, or Fun Days at the GDB campuses, there are always chances to make lasting memories with your puppy, and that's one reason I love being a puppy raiser so much.

Jan 17th, 2021
3 min read

My Favorite Experience as a Puppy Raiser: Gracee

18 week old Puppy in Training, Pegasus, laying down on grass with green puppy jacket
18 week old Pegasus laying down on grass with green puppy jacket

Hello! My name is Gracee Purcell from the Boise, Idaho Puppy Raising Club. I have been apart of GDB since January 2019. I raised female black lab, Pegasus, and hope to raise more puppies in the future. Pegasus is a small (only 47 lbs!), spunky puppy who loves to learn. She has truly made me a better raiser.

While there were many memorable moments during my time training Pegasus, there is one in particular that stands out to me. When Pegasus was just 4 months old, our CFR came to do evaluations on the puppies in training. Because Pegasus was so young I was given the choice to have her participate or not. I decided in the end that it couldn’t hurt. Pegasus and I worked on her commands as much as we could so that we could be ready. She was still young, so I wasn’t sure how well she would do.

18 week old Pegasus looking at the camera tilting her head
18 week old Pegasus looking at the camera tilting her head

Finally, the day came and we headed to the mall. My CFR greeted us and asked some questions before we set off on a walk around the stores and food court. Pegasus held a nearly perfect loose-leash and wasn’t distracted once! At only 18 weeks old Pegasus blew me away. I was incredibly proud of her and my leader and CFR couldn’t have been more complimentary towards her. That was the moment that I knew that Pegasus had great things in store for her. She might not have been picked to become a guide, but she’s working hard to become an excellent agility dog in Oregon with her new family.

I’m so blessed to have raised her and i’m grateful Guide Dogs for the Blind gave me the opportunity to do so.