Our Black Pumpkin

We got our second puppy January 14, 2010. Like Venita, she was a Lab/Golden mix, but had a velvety black coat. The litter was born on Thanksgiving and all the puppy names began with "P". Our black dog was named Pumpkin and her yellow brother was named Pilgrim! It was probably the same person who named another golden retriever Angus. Because the dog's future owners are blind, it won't matter!

Besides the monthly meeting of puppy raisers, there are many activities designed to help get dogs accustomed to circumstances they will face as guide dogs. They go shopping, attend parades, walk the Boardwalk and learn not to chase cats or squirrels. Taking two 40-minute walks every day keeps three of us healthy!

Verna and Pumpkin with three blind students at the Christmas parade in Pitman.

Pumpkin gets a train ride with a steam loc in Delaware.

Christmas visit to Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania. We enjoyed the scenery more than the dogs, but it was a good experience for them and they all behaved well!

On June 1, 2011, Pumpkin returned to The Seeing Eye headquarters in Morristown, NJ for four months of formal training.

We watched her graduation -- the so-called "Town Walk" on November 7

Pumpkin with her trainer at The Seeing Eye

Pumpkin is a beautiful and intelligent dog and is now making a wonderful guide and companion for a blind man in upper New York State.

While waiting for a puppy, we do "puppy-sitting" for other raisers. Here are Adona, a sweet German Shepherd, and a very athletic yellow lab named Ernest.

Click here for Thunder, our 3rd Seeing Eye Dog

Read: "From Wolves to Guide Dogs"
Ralph is webmaster for our Puppy Raiser group: