My Favorite Experience as a Puppy Raiser: Danelle
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!
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.