Cameron at the beach (ignore the date on the photo)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Hi, this is Cameron's raiser, Amanda and I would like to share with you the experience of In-For-Training day:

In-For-Training day is a very emotional day in the puppy raising experience that EVERYONE must go through. It is the time where the cute little bundle of energy that has grown into the magnificent dog you have leaves you to continue his/her journey on to becoming a guide dog. Whether or not you take to dog back yourself or someone does it for you, it is a bittersweet day and there are many tears that come to the eye.

My husband, the dogs, and I started off the day by going to the beach for one last time together so they could have some fun. They had a blast, especially Dave. He was bouncing around trying to get Hugh to run and play with him in the water. Hugh LOVES to swim and when he does, he looks like an otter swimming around. Man, those boys do love to swim!

The boys got to swim for a little bit and then we had to make our way to the school. We got there a few minutes before 1:00 p.m. to take some pictures of Hugh and Dave in front of the big Southeastern rock. This is the most famous place to take a picture on the campus. It is a beautiful rock (will post pictures of IFT day soon and you all can see it). Tears are already coming to our eyes as we know what is laying ahead of us in the next few minutes.

1:00 rolls around and we go inside the office where we meet up with the staff inside who welcome the boys back. The Trainer or Kennel Assistants come into the office and get the dogs ready to go to the receiving kennel. This is the time where you, as the puppy raiser, take your collar and leash off of the dog and officially hand the dog over to Southeastern. The Training or Kennel Assistants will put their own collars and leashes on the dog and give you one final opportunity to say goodbye.Right about now is when the tears start coming more frequently.

They took Hugh and Dave outside and led them down the sidewalk to the receiving kennel. Both Hugh and Dave looked back at my husband and I and this does not happen often. Most dogs are ready to go but I guess in their own way, they were saying goodbye one last time before college.

Yes it is very hard to give them up, but it is like having a child, they have to grow up sometime and leave the nest to start their own life. It is time for them to make a career out of what they were bred and taught to do. We will find out sometime within the next month how their medical evaluations go and we will go from there.


Hope you enjoyed to story,


  1. Great story!
    And yes it is hard letting them go:)

    Can't wait to see some pictures!

    Toby's trainer

  2. It never gets any easier! Good Luck Hugh! You did an awesome job raising him and he will make a great guide dog!

  3. Do you periodically get updates on the puppies you have worked so hard to raise?

  4. Thanks Rebecca and Allie. No it never gets easier.

    Delilah, we do get updates on when they pass their medicals and their temperament phase. After they pass this phase (phase 1), they go to phase 2 where they do the harness training. They do all kinds of training with the dogs to get them ready or test their ability to be a guide. If they pass this, they go to phase 3 which is where they are ready to be matched with a blind or visually impaired person. They have started a new thing where they give us monthly report cards on our dogs' progress.