Heavy with child/children, the expectant mother made her way around the room, greeting each of the guests at her shower. She then made her way to the front of the room where a table was laden with brightly colored gifts waiting to be opened, sniffing each one.


Well, this wasn't quite your regular Baby Shower. It was a Puppy Shower. And the expectant mother and guest of honor was a Golden Labrador Retriever named Boise.

Boise is a "brood dog" for Guiding Eyes for the blind, of Patterson, NY, and this is the two-year-old's first litter.

"She was chosen to be a breeder for the Guiding Eyes because of her personality, intelligence, genetics and stability," says her foster mom, Sue Oswald.

The puppies will all be incorporated in Guiding Eyes when old enough.

Sue is the Community Life director at Brookmont Healthcare Center in Effort. Boise comes to work with her, along with Bella, Boise's sister, about three times a week.

"She brings smiles to those who live and work here and she just hangs around a bit making life here a little more spontaneous and fun," says Sue.

Boise will be going back to the Guiding Eyes home base to deliver her pups but before she leaves, her friends at Brookmont decided to do something wonderful in her name. They held a Puppy Shower, raining gifts ranging from dry and canned dog food, Milk Bones, leashes, collars, peanut butter, puppy toys and other items to be donated to Guiding Eyes and the local Monroe County animal shelter, Awesome. Boise is allowed to keep only one of the gifts and that is a Scooby Doo blanket given specifically to her.

"Scooby Doo is her favorite," Sue said.

Many of the residents and staff members attended the Puppy Shower. They played games like "Name as many famous dogs as you can" and "Guess what's in the bag" where bags were passed around and the residents put in their hands and had to guess what they were touching, like a tennis ball, a dog collar, etc. There is even a pool to guess how many puppies she will have, what color, how many boys, how many girls.

Refreshments were served and the Puppy motif was carried on with bone-shaped cookies and cupcakes decorated to look like dogs.

"I think it's all adorable," said RuthAnn Goucher, a Brookmont resident, who loves Boise and Bella.

"I think the Puppy Shower is very original. Everybody here loves Boise and her sister and this was something fun for the residents to be involved in and it makes them feel good that they're able to help a good cause," said Linda Luciev, an activity aide at Brookmont.

One guest thought it was a great idea and other people should consider doing the same if they have a dog who will have puppies.

"Hold a Puppy Shower, invite your family and friends and tell them to bring items that can be donated to the local animal shelters. The shelters would greatly appreciate the donations," she said.

After Boise gives birth and the puppies are weaned, she will return home to Sue and will resume her visits to Brookmont.

She will probably have baby pictures to share, just like any proud mama.