Saturday, April 18, 2015

Fondest farewell to Sparkle

The day we had been anticipating - and also dreading - finally arrived.

Fondest farewell to Sparkle

That bittersweet moment arrived for us at 10:20 this morning, when the Seeing Eye area coordinator arrived to fetch Sparkle for training.

Sparkle was bright and eager, hopping lightly into the minivan, joining another puppy already inside. She looked fit and athletic. With a hug and a pat, I wished her success with all my heart.  I'd just taken her for an extra-long, 90-minute walk with Porter, luxuriating in a cool and poetic kind of spring morning.

We gave her our love and the best guidance we knew. In a few months, she'll be the one doing all the guiding -- for a person who needs her more than we will know.

I still have a few Sparkle items to put up on the blog. Stay tuned!

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Puppy Steps: George Carter blogs on raising seeing eye dogs
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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