The Pocono Guiding Pups Club of The Seeing Eye will be special guest at the concert by the Lehighton Band on Sunday, August 15 at 7pm at Eurana Park.
The Pocono Guiding Pups is a puppy raising group for The Seeing Eye in Morristown, N.J. They meet in Tannersville on the first Thursday of each month. The club consists of both adult and child raisers, those under age 19 are members of the 4-H Club. The club also holds monthly outings; this event is one, to help expose the dogs to the world at large.
The club provides the foundation of what is hoped will become a future Seeing Eye dog. The members work with the pups from the day they arrive at 7 weeks old. Along with housebreaking the puppies, they are taught many different behaviors, some common to raising normal family dog and others that are specific to becoming a Seeing Eye Dog.
The dogs are brought to as many public places as allowed; members are rarely seen without their trainee by their side, which strengthens the bond between person and dog plus builds their work ethic. The dogs become accustom to crowds, loud noises, traffic, and any experience that will build their confidence.
The dogs live with their puppy raiser and family until they are between 14-16 months old. They return to The Seeing Eye where they undergo intensive training to become a member of the elite group of dogs selected to be guide dogs for the blind.
One of the most common questions asked is whether it is difficult for the raiser to give up a dog. The answer is yes, but the rewards far outweigh the pain of saying goodbye. Raisers know they have helped a person maintain and independent life style, which is in itself priceless. If for some reason the dog is removed from the program for reasons anywhere from fear of thunder, flaws in their work ethic, or physical issues such as allergies and ear infections, the dog is offered to the raiser for adoption or to another branch of service or for adoption by the general public.
Raising a dog for the Seeing Eye is a perfect way to utilize a love for animals in a way that also benefits other people.