Articles

Read articles featuring Guide Dogs for the Blind (GDB) volunteers (like puppy raisers and sitters), clients of GDB, and workers that make a huge difference in our communities!

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By Kaiser Williams

March 1st, 2022

The High School Experience with a Furry Friend in Lead

Ava Basso is a typical high school senior. . . other than the fact that her guide dog, Cheddar, accompanies her at school. Thanks to Cheddar, Ava is able to navigate confidently, and be more outgoing and adventurous!

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By Kaiser Williams

February 6th, 2022

Reflecting on 2021

In this short article, I reflect on the growth of the Pup Talk Blog and the insight I've gained through my conversations with the GDB community.

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By Kaiser Williams

December 18th, 2021

Clark Roberts: Inspiring Others to See in New Ways

Clark Roberts has a mission: to teach others that life never quits even through adversity. From business executives to young students, Clark has inspired countless people with his journey with his guide dogs.

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By Kaiser Williams

November 24th, 2021

A Gift of a Guide Dog

Launa Hardy attributes her amazing quality of life to her three guide dogs, who have taught her that vision loss is not a barrier in life. Now, Launa enjoys traveling and staying active with her grandchildren and local GDB alumni group, and is writing a memoir about her partnership with her first guide dog, Lyle.

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By Kaiser Williams

November 3rd, 2021

How Do You Become a Puppy Raiser Volunteer?

Puppy raising is no easy task. It takes dedication, patience, but most importantly the ability to teach dogs commands, public settling, and other skills that prepare them for formal training and beyond. Learn the steps a person takes to become an official GDB puppy raiser!

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By Kaiser Williams

October 13th, 2021

A Trusty Best Friend and a Pair of Eyes

Why are guide dogs so special? Just ask DrueValley: her guide dog, Tweed, is her ultimate best friend. With Tweed by her side, DrueValley can walk with confidence and pursue new opportunities that were not possible in the past.

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By Kaiser Williams

October 1st, 2021

A Puppy Raiser's Role in Educating the Public

A puppy raisers' job is not just fostering a puppy, but being an ambassador for Guide Dogs for the Blind (GDB) by educating the public. Kate Shipp, a high school Junior and a puppy raiser in Bellingham, Washington, emphasizes the importance of raising awareness about GDB.

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By Kaiser Williams

September 23rd, 2021

It’s All About the First Impression

Alaina Gott is a high school freshman who loves sports. She began judo and cross country skiing in elementary school and currently enjoys track and field. Fortunately she was paired with Sable, her guide dog, just this summer at GDB. Now Sable is Alaina's best friend who guides her during her busy day and fuels her motivation to succeed.

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By Kaiser Williams

September 15th, 2021

GOing on Adventures with the GO See Foundation

Despite being diagnosed with multiple eye diseases which caused a visual impairment, Allyson led an active lifestyle as a student. Although her eyesight continued to deteriorate over the years, she founded the GO See Foundation to encourage, inspire, and empower those who are blind or visually impaired to lead an active lifestyle by hosting various events with her guide dog, Olga, by her side.

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By Kaiser Williams

September 8th, 2021

Sprocket the Rocket! A GDB Breeder Dog Story

Breeding is integral for maximizing the chance puppies succeed at Guide Dogs for the Blind (GDB), and this is not possible without breeder dogs. One of these awesome breeders is Sprocket, a four-year-old male yellow Lab. Sprocket has bred 44 puppies for GDB so far, and is also a therapy dog. Learn more about Sprocket and his breeder custodian Emily!

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By Kaiser Williams

August 29th, 2021

Summer 2021 Recap

As summer comes to an end, I want to highlight some of the best experiences the Bellevue Puppy Raising club and the GDB community have had over the summer. I will also look back on how much Pup Talk has grown over the past few months.

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By Kaiser Williams

August 19th, 2021

Capturing his Vision with Fauna by his Side

Ted Tahquechi didn’t decide to get a guide dog for 18 years after losing most of his vision. But the instant he was paired with Fauna, his life and career as a Photographer blossomed. Now, he travels the world to capture his many adventures and add to his award-winning projects and initiatives.

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By Kaiser Williams

August 13th, 2021

Lila’s Exhilarating Pet Life as a Retired Guide Dog

Lila, a retired guide dog, is enjoying an active life with her owner Jamie, a GDB mobility instructor. Learn what Lila's favorite activities are, including lots of flyball, running in nature, and spending time at GDB campus!

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By Kaiser Williams

August 7th, 2021

Faith and Prim, An Ambitious Dynamic Duo

Faith Snapp has big aspirations. As a rising sophomore pursuing a pre-vet path at West Texas A&M University and heavily involved in Texas FFA, she definitely has a lot on her plate. Luckily, Faith's trusty guide dog, Prim, supports her journey every step of the way and Faith attributes her many successes to Prim's companionship.

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By Kaiser Williams

July 31st, 2021

Graduation: The Ultimate Goal of Puppy Raising

The ultimate goal of raising a guide dog puppy is seeing your puppy become a guide. All the time and hard work becomes absolutely worth it when seeing the puppy you raised graduate with their handler, and the feeling is amazing. Hannah Pettit has experienced two graduations with her puppies, Jacinto and Malia, and has been a truely a life-changing experience for her.

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By Kaiser Williams

July 25th, 2021

Hooked on Raising: The Motivation Behind Raising Numerous Puppies

Puppy raisers for GDB often don’t stop raising after one puppy. The gratification from contributing to an amazing organization and the unique responsibilities involved keep many volunteers dedicated to the program. Brooke Johnson, a puppy raiser from the College Station puppy club, has done just that.

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By Kaiser Williams

July 20th, 2021

The Art of Co-Raising

Many GDB puppy raisers choose to co-raise a puppy rather than raise full time. It can be a very rewarding experience and advantageous for both the dog and raisers, but it can also involve some challenges. Jennifer Ross, a former GDB Bellevue Club co-leader and puppy raiser, shares her co-raising experiences.

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By Kaiser Williams

July 12th, 2021

Public Indoor Access for GDB Puppies

An integral aspect of puppy socialization is experiencing a variety of public spaces such as businesses, malls, schools, supermarkets and restaurants. What indoor areas and facilities do raisers take their puppies, and how should raisers handle denial from entry?

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By Kaiser Williams

July 1st, 2021

Staying Active with the Help of Jayla

The companionship of a guide dog is a special feeling for which so many guide dog users are grateful. Leslye Ostrom can’t believe how much easier life became when she was paired with Jayla, a black female guide dog.

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By Kaiser Williams

June 28th, 2021

Comparing Puppy Raising Techniques in Japan and the U.S.

Guide dogs all over the world are extremely intelligent and help change the lives of many people, but each organization that raises guide dogs develops guidelines independently, taking local culture and laws into account. In this article, I compare my experience as a puppy raiser for the Japan Guide Dog Association (JGDA) while living in Japan to that for Guide Dogs for the Blind (GDB) in the United States.

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By Kaiser Williams

June 18th, 2021

Human Encounters and Distractions during Outings

Most puppy raisers have likely had a stranger come up to their puppy in training and attempt to pet or talk to them. How can puppy raisers avoid these situations so their puppy can learn to ignore distractions?

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By Kate Richardson

June 8th, 2021

A Leader’s Perspective Series

How is Puppy Progress Assessed With Evaluations?

Every three or four months puppies active in the Puppy Raising community have official Evaluations. While they are seen every week by volunteer leaders, this is an opportunity for a paid employee at Guide Dogs to get a more real sense of how a puppy is doing in their progress toward hopefully becoming a guide dog. So, what skills are assessed on in these evaluations?

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Kaiser Williams

May 24th, 2021

Celebrating Career Changed Pets

Becoming a guide dog is an extremely selective process where only the best puppies of the bunch are accepted. Not all puppies in training are able to be recalled to attend the “Harvard” of dogs, but they are still celebrated by the entire Guide Dogs for the Blind community for their hard work and training.

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Kaiser Williams

May 13th, 2021

The Journey of Becoming a Breeder Dog

Breeder dogs are the cornerstone of successful guide dogs so it's no surprise that dogs need to pass several criteria to become a breeder dog at GDB. Read how Uzette, a female black Lab, passed this selective process!

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By Ashley Tobin

May 2nd, 2021

A Fur-tastic Guide to Grooming Puppies in Training

As any puppy raiser knows, grooming and handling are very important skills for puppies in training to be accustomed too! Learn how Cliff, a Golden Retriever and Labrador Cross, is groomed to stay so handsome!

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By Kate Richardson

April 25th, 2021

A Leader’s Perspective Series

Regular Meetings: The Key to Successful Puppy Development

Regular meetings are crucial for the development of successful guide dogs and the volunteers that train them. Club leaders plan and coordinate meeting events and activities.

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By Kaiser Williams

April 21st, 2021

Personality Differences in Dogs and Altering Training Methods

There are a variety of personalities amongst puppies in training, and puppy raisers adjust their training to set their puppies up for success.

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By Kaiser Williams

April 12th, 2021

Finding Purpose as a GDB Club Leader

Kate Richardson, a GDB club leader in Boise, Idaho, began volunteering for GDB when she was in high school. Her disabilities didn't stop her from puppy raising, and she attributes her ability to overcome her struggles to the joy of raising wonderful guide dogs.

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By Kaiser Williams

April 2nd, 2021

Puppies In Training and Water

As a puppy raiser, I've noticed that many puppies in training have a distaste towards water. However, puppy raisers must train them to get use to situations involving water.

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By Kaiser Williams

March 21st, 2021

Encountering Everday Distractions

Arguably the most crucial skill a guide dog puppy in training must learn is to avoid distractions such as people, other dogs, and things on the ground when walking. This article describes a variety of common distractions and how a puppy should react (or not react) to them.

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By Kaiser Williams

March 14th, 2021

Confident with a Guide Dog

Grayson DeLong, a senior studying Neuroscience in college, loves her guide dog, Montana. Montana made Grayson confident in navigating outside and is thankful for Guide Dogs for the Blind for giving her the independence and freedon to live her life to the fullest.

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By Kaiser Williams

March 9th, 2021

Why Puppy Raising is Worth It

Raising a puppy as a Guide Dogs for the Blind (GDB) puppy raiser is a gratifying experience in so many ways. A few puppy raisers share why volunteering for GDB and working with their amazing puppies is so special.

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By Kaiser Williams

March 2nd, 2021

Common Types of Visual Impairments/Low Vision

Each person who has a visual impairment or low vision has a different condition of sight. This article explains some of the common visual impairments and how a guide dog is helpful in for any of these conditions.

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By Kaiser Williams

February 22nd, 2021

Activities and Events at GDB Club Meetings

One of the requirements as a Guide Dogs for the Blind (GDB) puppy raiser is to attend club meetings. Read about what club members and their PIT do at these meetings.

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By Kaiser Williams

February 13th, 2021

Outings: Exposing Puppies In Training to a Variety of Experiences

One crucial role puppy raisers have is exposing their puppy in training (PIT) to various environments that they may experience once they become a guide dog. Learn about typical outings PIT are exposed to.

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By Kaiser Williams

February 3rd, 2021

How Do Guide Dogs Actually Guide their Handler?

Guide dogs are obviously special companions that are incredibly intelligent, but how do they "guide"? Jeremy, a guide dog user, explains how he works with his guide dog, Winston, to navigate his journies.

By Abigail Pruitt, Ashley Tobin

January 30th, 2021

Taking a GDB Puppy to High School as a Puppy Raiser

Many High School students take their puppy to school. It's a great envirionment to practice many skills, and one High Schooler, Abigail, shares her experience taking her puppy in training, Romo, to school.

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By Kaiser Williams

January 25th, 2021

How have Puppy Raisers Adapted to the Covid-19 Pandemic?

Covid-19 has thrown some curveballs to GDB volunteers, but puppy raisers have stayed strong and adapted to the new normal with their puppy in training.

By Danelle Hall and Grace Purcell

January 17th, 2021

Why is Puppy Raising for GDB so Enjoyable? Two Teens Share their Favorite Moments as Puppy Raisers

Danelle Hall, a puppy raiser for the Bellevue, WA club for GDB, and Gracee Purcell, a puppy raiser for the Boise, Idaho club for GDB, describe the best moments with their puppy in training.

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By Kaiser Williams

January 10th, 2021

An Enhanced Career with a Guide Dog Companion

Chris Yoon, a graduate of Guide Dogs for the Blind, has amazing adventures with Sadie, his guide dog. Read how Sadie is an awesome guide for Chris, and also gives Chris more confidence socially.

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By GDB puppy raiser Sierra Booker

December 31st, 2020

A Passionate Pursuit to Change Lives

Sierra Booker, a GDB puppy raiser with the James Madison FFA Club, shares her passion for raising guide dog puppies and a memorable experience during her GDB career.

Kendal, Beauty, and her mother
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By Kaiser Williams

December 21st,2020

Supporting Guide Dogs for the Blind’s Mission: A Teen Puppy Raiser’s Contributions

Kendal McLeod, a sophomore in high school, is currently raising her third guide dog puppy in training for Guide Dogs for the Blind. Beginning her journey with GDB when just in middle school, Kendal strives to support the mission of GDB by inspiring others to volunteer.

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By Kaiser Williams

December 13th, 2020

My Journey Raising Guide Dog Puppies

A short introduction from Kaiser Williams, who began coding Pup Talk's website back in October. He is a puppy raiser for the Bellevue club for Guide Dogs for the Blind, as well as an avid programmer.