Sunday, September 21, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Archive: April, 2012

POSTED: Saturday, April 21, 2012, 10:44 PM
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Viola, Jordan's recently retired guide dog, is flanked by Jada (left), the Seeing Eye puppy Jordan raised, and Hilton, her new guide dog. Jada was excused from the program for medical reasons and went back to the Seeing Eye for adoption. She was in the same van with Sparkle returning to Morristown. We wish her much happiness in her new life!

With Sparkle back in training (and no word yet from the Seeing Eye), I took a break from the blog, with a weeklong vacation and the excitement of daughter Betsy's final college selections. We took the train up to Providence earlier this week, and she has since committed to Brown! So the puppy has gone back to "college," and the puppy-raiser will soon venture forth on her higher education as well. Thank goodness I still have old Porter around!

On another happy note, my puppy-raiser friend Jordan Ortiz has entered her recently retired Seeing Eye dog, Viola, for the Hero Dog Award.  You may remember that Jordan graduated from Rowan University last year, accompanied all four years by her adorable golden retriever. Jordan also raises Seeing Eye puppies with the help of her close friend Danielle Larsen, who is legally blind but does not make use of a guide dog.

Here is an excerpt of an e-mail from Jordan:

POSTED: Tuesday, April 3, 2012, 10:36 PM

That bittersweet moment arrived for us at 10:20 this morning, when the Seeing Eye area coordinator arrived to fetch Sparkle for training.

Sparkle was bright and eager, hopping lightly into the minivan, joining another puppy already inside. She looked fit and athletic. With a hug and a pat, I wished her success with all my heart.  I'd just taken her for an extra-long, 90-minute walk with Porter, luxuriating in a cool and poetic kind of spring morning.

We gave her our love and the best guidance we knew. In a few months, she'll be the one doing all the guiding -- for a person who needs her more than we will know.

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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