Saturday, May 23, 2015

Moving in the circle of pups

On a mild summer evening, the pups go through their obedience drill and their handlers pick up some tips along the way.

Moving in the circle of pups

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The club leaders put the pups and their handlers through their paces once a month at a neighborhood church. When the weather is inviting, we head out into the back parking lot where there's plenty of room to maneuver.

After the puppy-circle training session, we head inside to the fellowship hall for our meeting, where we plan out activities such as field trips and school visits and share any "puppy news" from the Seeing Eye. That news involves the pups that have gone back for training and whether they are graduating, have been placed with a blind person, or perhaps are assigned another job. Some even go to law enforcement for airport safety patrol or other non-aggressive duties.  As the Seeing Eye says: "Every dog has his destiny."

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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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