It was hard to tell who was more excited — the smiling children or the vivacious guide dog puppies who visited the Lab’s Child Development Center (CDC) and Little Red School House on December 4.
Over the past several years, the Lab has invited trainers and “puppies-in-training” from the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind (GDF) to the Lab as part of the guide dog training program.
“Because the Lab is set up like a small town, it offers us the opportunity to work with the puppies on how to cross the street and how to behave in crowds and public buildings,” said Maria Nuzzi of the GDF. “We can perform the tasks in a safe way on the Lab’s site. We greatly appreciate how much the Lab has welcomed us.”
During this most recent visit, coordinated by Brian Buckheit of the Lab’s Protection Division (LP), the puppies visited the CDC and Little Red School House to interact with kids.
“It’s no secret that the GDF is one of my favorite charities,” said Buckheit. “With the support of many BNLers, I’ve had the pleasure of inviting the GDF to the Lab on several occasions. During this visit, it was enjoyable to watch the kids interact with the dogs and listen to the handlers describe the training process.”
Once the dogs are fully trained, the GDF will match them with a visually impaired individual.
“Having a guide dog offers a person a form of independence that cannot be measured,” said Buckheit. “I’m humbled to be even a small part of that process.”
For more information, go to the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind website.
2009-1556 INT/EXT | Media & Communications Office