This is the big news we've been anxiously awaiting the last month! We just heard back from the Seeing Eye that Sparkle has passed all her health checks and other screenings, and is now being assigned to a trainer. Hooray!!
The formal training to be a Seeing Eye dog has begun. First, she'll work with a trainer the next few months, and then, when a suitable match is found, she'll be assigned to a visually impaired person who needs a new guide dog. It may be a first-timer, or someone whose dog has retired and needs a new one. Either way, Sparkle is about to make a wonderful difference in someone's life. When Sparkle graduates from her training, we'll be invited up to Morristown to discreetly observe her "Town Walk" as she leads her trainer all around the city streets.
Another update: Viola, the retired guide dog belonging to Jordan Ortiz, is leading in her division in the Hero Dog competition. There's still time to vote, and you can cast your ballot once every 24 hours with the same e-mail address. On her Hero Dog profile page, you will see the button to "Vote for Viola." http://www.herodogawards.org/vote/?nominee=15446649
Also, Betsy has won a $1,000 college scholarship from the Seeing Eye for her work in raising Porter, Velma and Sparkle. Congrats, Betsy! Porter is just a bit lonely around the house these days without Sparkle, but I'm making sure he gets a good, long walk every morning, and plenty of love and attention. He's played a big role in helping raise Sparkle and Velma.