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 firstname.lastname@example.org
A Kindle version is also available through Amazon or the publisher's website.