Monday, April 21, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Joyous homecoming

The story winds up for Vinson, the guide-dog puppy being raised by Ryan and Sarah.

Joyous homecoming

Puppy Steps is still in a bit of a hiatus, with Sparkle having embarked on her new career as a Seeing Eye dog and Betsy in her second semester at college. We did host a Seeing Eye puppy for two weeks over the holidays, as our puppy-raiser friends Jordan and Danielle went on vacation. It was great having Destiny  (a beautiful lab-golden cross) with us, especially since Betsy was home on Christmas break and we could take long walks with the three dogs -- Porter, Velma and Destiny.

One bit of news: You may remember Vinson, the puppy being raised by a Seeing Eye employee, Ryan, and his wife, Sarah.  Ryan has been doing a blog on Vinson, parallel time-wise with my Puppy Steps blog. Ryan recently posted that after several months of evaluation and further training, it was decided that Vinson's distractability issues were too great and that he would not be a Seeing Eye dog.  So just as with our first pup, Porter, Vinson has come home for good, adopted by his puppy-raisers.

I know from our experience that Ryan and Sarah have gained a superb companion! Congratulations on the new family member! Click on the link to his blog for details of the Vinson finale. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=KTEhubviB8Q

George Carter
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 gcarter@phillynews.com.

George Carter
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