From: The Puppy Raising Department
Guide Dogs for the Blind is pleased to introduce another way for our puppies
to graduate and serve the blind. It’s called the K-9 Buddy Program, and it
works like this: dogs that are not suitable for guidework may be chosen to
graduate as a K-9 Buddy in the home of a visually impaired child, ages 17 and
under. The dogs’ jobs will be to introduce the concept of a guide dog and
promote the human-animal bond to visually impaired children, which may lead
to an application for a guide dog when the children are old enough.
Puppy raisers can feel proud if their pup is selected to
graduate as a K-9 Buddy! When possible, the K-9 Buddies will be presented to
their new partners at graduation, along side guides and breeders. When that
is not possible, other arrangements, as in the case of in-home trainings,
will be available. Graduate and raiser can choose to stay in touch– just as
it is with a guide dog user.
Applicant families for the K-9 Buddy program will meet the
same qualifications as puppy raising homes, and will have training, follow-up
and support from GDB staff.
Guide Dogs for the Blind, Inc. is very pleased with the
prospect of extending our mission to include blind and visually impaired
youth through canine partnership. We would like extend our sincere
appreciation to our puppy raising community for their role in helping us
bring this exciting new program to fruition and we will keep you updated with
program developments. Please contact a leader if you have questions about the
K-9 Buddy program.