Puppy Raiser – Why?

Chloe as a puppy at her Puppy Raiser's home 

Fidos For Freedom is currently in need of Puppy Raisers.

Everything a Puppy Raiser would need to raise a puppy is provided by Fidos For Freedom, thanks to the generous support of sponsors! Food, vet appointments, medicines, supplies and training classes are all free to Puppy Raiser volunteers. The only thing required of a puppy raiser is really that they love puppies, and are willing to invest themselves by providing a loving home for these puppies. The training classes are to provide encouragement, as well as provide instruction from house training to the basic obedience commands.

I have so many say to me, “I could just never love and raise a little puppy for a whole year, and then have to give them up!”

If I could just get every person who said that to visit one Saturday training session for the clients at Fidos! (If you contact the office in advance, you can actually come watch!) If only you could see the special bond between those who have been matched with a service dog or hearing dog! If only you could see the dogs trained to help a service client pick up dropped objects, remove hard-to-remove clothing like shoes or jackets, tug on cabinet drawers, open and close doors, etc.! If you could see the hearing dogs pick up dropped objects that their partner did not even know had fallen (like keys! Do you know how many times I lost my keys each year prior to Chloe?), and alert them to phones, alarm clocks, doorbells, timers, their name being called, etc.

I guess I am trying (probably ineffectively) to say, is that if you could only get a glimpse of what these dogs do for their partners, you’d not only be willing to raise a puppy, but would joyfully acknowledge the important role you play in the eventual partnership of a dog and partner with a disability! For ultimately, I hope that every Puppy Raiser volunteers to raise a puppy because they love PEOPLE.

A puppy never forgets their Puppy Raiser! Every time Chloe sees her Puppy Raiser, Linda, she goes “all a-wiggle”. She whines (in a semi-controlled and barely proper “sit”) and anxiously awaits me to acknowledge that I see Linda. There are days I know Chloe simply will not train or work until she’s gone to say hello to her beloved puppy raiser! I’ve had some other clients tell me, “Now Denise! Don’t let that hurt your feelings that she is so excited to see Linda!” I have to grin at that! Chloe’s excitement about seeing her Puppy Raiser speaks volumes. She was loved, she was allowed to be a puppy in a super home, and she is loyal to those who love her! I’d be worried if she was NOT happy to see her Puppy Raiser!

Linda has been raising another puppy. Want to know why? She loves Fidos; yes. She loves puppies; yes. But ultimately Linda loves people and knows the valuable part she plays in the eventual partnership of a dog and person with disabilities. What’s not to love about that?

Denise Portis
©2007 Hearing Loss Diary

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