Sunday, February 7, 2016

A refreshing read for the dog days of summer

A veteran puppy-raiser from Cape May County shares the sad-funny-hopeful story of his family and the many Seeing Eye pups they've shared their lives with over the years.

A refreshing read for the dog days of summer

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Here's Ray, with his daughter Becky, and their Seeing Eye pup.

Ray Rebmann, a veteran puppy-raiser in Cape May County, has devoted a whole book to that question that all of us puppy-raisers are all too familiar with: "How Can You Give Up that Adorable Puppy?"  In fact, that is the title of his lively, humorous memoir.

I've spent the last few weeks leisurely reading it, a chapter or two at a time, even taking it on the PATCO train for the 20-minute commute to our new offices at 801 Market St.  My workday always starts off on the right foot with a couple of dog stories fresh in my mind.

Ray and his family are much more experienced with the Seeing Eye program than we are. They have raised around a dozen pups, whereas we've had a grand total of three (seems like more, especially when they are chewing up the furniture). 

Ray began raising the pups with his daughter Becky, who contracted a serious health condition at age 10 that required treatment at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and limited her activities. Ray was a complete novice with dogs, and particularly clueless in how to behave around guide dogs, according to his account, but they signed up for the Seeing Eye program and he and his daughter both thrived in their new adventure.

The story has a happy ending: Becky excelled academically and overcame her health problems as dog after dog went on to become Seeing Eye guides or breeders. Ray, a retired newspaper reporter, keeps raising the pups and is busy in his writing career.

Ray, I hope you never give it up!

If you'd like to order Ray's book, here's how: 

Readers can order a
paperback copy through the publisher at the website,

Or someone wishing to buy a signed copy can e-mail Ray at

A Kindle version is also available through Amazon or the publisher's website.



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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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