Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Archive: November, 2012

POSTED: Monday, November 12, 2012, 9:46 PM
A friendship renewed: Velma (left) and Porter are back together again after Velma's return last month from the Seeing Eye breeding program. Both are fully trained Seeing Eye dogs, but neither went on to a career as a guide dog.

Velma, our former Seeing Eye puppy, has been back with us for two weeks now, and she's having the time of her life. She and Porter picked up their old friendship immediately and have been romping in the backyard and taking long autumn walks together. Sometimes, they even squeeze into the same crate for naps, which looks rather too cozy considering they are both large dogs.

Velma still seems to have a bit of the puppy in her as she is still chewing toys and other odds and ends. On trick-or-treat night, I noticed she was carrying something in her mouth when she went to the door to greet the kids. When I had her hand it to me, I saw it was an unopened packet of candy. It looked fine, and I washed it off, and set it in the drainer. Debating whether to eat it or not (Don't worry, I would not have handed it out at the door), I examined it and noticed tiny tooth marks on the package. So I finally threw it out. One kid said he didn't want candy, but pointed to Velma and said: "But I want that dog!" I gave him the candy instead.


I wrote an article in Sunday's Currents section of The Inquirer all about Betsy and Sparkle going off into the world while Velma returns home from her successful breeding career. If you get the chance, click on the hyperlink and e-mail me if you have any thoughts or questions or stories about your own dog. I've already heard from two people who've raised Seeing Eye pups with their college-age daughters. And one is now raising a pup from Velma's final litter! Velma would be so proud. I know we're proud of her!

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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