Monday, November 24, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

A fair summer day for Sparkle

Sparkle the Seeing Eye pup goes to the 4-H fair on a very hot weekend, but with plenty of water and shade, she makes out just fine.

A fair summer day for Sparkle

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Puppy Steps is back from an unexpected three-week hiatus due to tonsil and sinus surgery that came up on short notice. (My surgery, that is; the pup is fine.) Betsy and I were able to walk the dogs most evenings, but I stayed close to home and we didn't do any outings with Sparkle.

Here is Sparkle in action at the Gloucester County 4-H Fair back on July 31. The day before, she attended the puppy club's obedience demo at the fair. I was unable to attend because of work, but another club member graciously stepped in and put her through her paces. I'm told she did very well!

On Sunday, Betsy and I took her back to the fair and walked her all over the grounds, acquainting her with goats, sheep, horses, chickens, cows, pigs and surely some other farm animals I can't even remember. She wasn't rattled by any of the commotion, and we even met a Seeing Eye pup from Pennsylvania.  As always, we enjoyed talking to passersby wanting to know about the Seeing Eye and its puppy-raising program. 

George Carter
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About this blog
George Carter, The Inquirer's weekend national/foreign editor, has always counted dogs among his closest companions. According to family lore, he learned to walk by clinging to the side of a saintly patient mutt named Spanker. In turn, one of his earliest hazy memories is of tossing treats to the family dogs gathered expectantly on the porch of their Maryland farmhouse. It was only natural then, that when George saw a newspaper ad looking for families to raise puppies for the Seeing Eye of Morristown, N.J., he bit at the chance. From the start, it has been a family project, with teenage daughter Betsy as the official puppy-raiser. First there was Porter, a big-hearted yellow Lab born on Memorial Day 2004. A few years later, the Carters raised Velma, a gorgeous Lab/golden cross. Just a couple weeks ago, Velma's 7-week-old daughter Sparkle arrived as the latest family charge. George, Betsy and mom Cathy are thrilled that Sparkle is from Velma's very first litter. You can reach George Carter at 215-854-2411 or by clicking here. Reach George at gcarter@phillynews.com.

George Carter
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