Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Happy retirement, Viola!

A fellow puppy-raiser's own guide dog glides into well-deserved retirement, with a party at the monthly meeting.

Happy retirement, Viola!

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Viola, the guide dog who led puppy-raiser Jordan Ortiz to a degree at Rowan University, embarks on her own new career: A happy retirement as a beloved family pet.

One of the puppy-raisers in our club, Jordan Ortiz, knows first-hand the vital mission of a Seeing Eye dog. That's because Jordan, a 2011 Rowan University graduate, makes use of a guide dog herself. Jordan, who lost her eyesight to illness as a child, was profiled along with fellow puppy-raiser Danielle Larsen in an article by The Inquirer's Kevin Riordan last April shortly before the young women graduated from Rowan.

When she went forward to receive her diploma in May, Jordan was accompanied by her adorable golden retriever, Viola, who had been at her side since freshman year. (Viola appeared in a post last summer, with two pups at a Camden Riversharks game.)  Last month, Viola officially retired with a party at the local puppy-club meeting. And Jordan left this week for Morristown, N.J., to train with her next dog.  It's no vacation: It's hard work!

While Viola now gets her well-deserved retirement as a family pet, Jordan will soon be returning with her new dog. We're certainly looking forward to seeing them at the meetings and on our outings!

As Sparkle enters her last few months at our house and prepares to go back to the Seeing Eye for training,  there's no greater reminder of the noble mission ahead.  Jordan and Viola, you are our inspiration! 

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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

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