Tag Archives: Southeastern Guide Dogs

Meeting the Sponsors

Marni, and Electra before her, were sponsored by Classic BMW in Plano, Texas. This means that Classic BMW made a generous donation to Southeastern Guide Dogs for naming rights for a puppy. The owners of Classic BMW, Eric and Lee Maas, and all of their staff at the dealership, have been gracious supporters of Southeastern for quite a long time. Marni is the seventh pup that they have sponsored!

Marni was named in honor of a long time employee who died of cancer a couple of years ago. All of the employees at the dealership were anxious to meet this little girl. (She dressed in her St Patrick’s Day finery!)

Marni got the grand tour and made lots of new friends. She thought that they were all some really fine folks and she’s looking forward to more visits!

Thank you Classic BMW for all that you do!!

A Birthday Party!!!

Our dog Walker just turned 8 years old. In dog – or human – years – whichever way you look at it, he’s about 56ish years old. Little ones always want to know this!!!! Walker has 2 brothers who live fairly close and we try to get them together at birthday time to celebrate. Marni got to join in the celebration this year along with CCI pup, Miguel. They made the most of it!

Walker, Challenger, and Honor are all Career Changed pups from Southeastern Guide Dogs and as pups were part of a prison program called IMPACT. We were weekend raisers getting the pups from the prison on weekends for socialization. It was an incredible program for dogs and inmates – and an eye-opening experience for us. SEGDI discontinued their IMPACT involvement a few years ago. I cherish the time that we were involved with it. Challenger is a working service dog, Walker is a Therapy dog and Honor helps raise pups for Canine Companions for Independence. They are all three Wonders!!

And they still enjoy time together! We pulled out the pool for some water fun. And all the dogs got to enjoy some yummy birthday frosty paws!! A great day all around!

And We Say Hello to Marni!

After letting go of Electra and drying some of the tears, we got to meet our new pup, Marni.

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Marni
5II14
Black Lab female
DOB – 11/27/2014
Mom – Essie   Dad – Carbon

Marni has been sponsored by Classic BMW in Plano, Texas
(as was Electra) and is named in honor of a long time employee there.

Marni is a breeder candidate, which means that she could possibly become part of the community of dogs at Southeastern used to breed future generations of great dogs. She has also been designated as a possible candidate in a co-op breeding program in which breeding stock can be shared with other guide dog schools around the country and in Canada. But all of those possibilities are way in the future. Right now we concentrate on helping her to become the best possible dog that she can be!

IMG_2604Marni has 3 siblings – Mandy, Thomas, and London. Mandy and Thomas came back to Texas with Marni and London stayed in Florida with a family there. Texas raisers will also be hosting a golden retriever this year!

After a long, emotional day at the school, the North Texas pups and their raisers celebrated at Yoder’s restaurant in Sarasota.

A night in the hotel, a long ride on the airplane,  ( and I must compliment United airlines on their graciousness throughout our flight experience!) and snow in Texas –

Welcome home Ms Marni!!!!

Loving, Learning, and Letting Go

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Raising guide dog pups is an emotional roller coaster. They come into your life and your heart for a brief span of time and then before you know it they are moving on to bigger and better things. Our year with Electra was a challenging whirlwind. I loved this dog, but it was not a sure-footed steady love. It was kind of an up and down sort of thing. I didn’t realize how deeply that love had taken root in my heart until this past weekend when I had to turn her leash over to someone else. I’m crying still as I write this. Was she ready? Had I done enough for her? Had I given her enough of my heart to expand her world? She certainly gave me her heart. She trusted me to keep it safe. To carry it gently. What does she think now?

It was certainly a year of learning. For Electra it meant learning how NOT to be a puppy. A hard thing indeed!!! She spent some long, sometimes difficult hours and hours learning to control her impulses, to be a polite young lady instead of a wild one. She put her heart into the effort. She loves training and learning. I wish that I could have given her even more! For us humans, our year was about learning patience and finding the good in all things. Learning to take little steps, to celebrate the small achievements. And every day is a brand new day full of all kinds of possibilites. We learned to celebrate! And it expanded our hearts.

Letting go is another learning experience. How do you celebrate the unknown future? You look at the known past and celebrate the memories and the possibilities buried in those remembered successes. For Electra, I’m not sure. Did we give her enough of our hearts to carry her through this chapter of her life? Enough of our love to keep her until that next person, who needs her love more than we do, wraps their heart around her? I hope so.

I believe in my heart that she is ready for this next chapter. I believe in my heart that her mission in life will be a good one. She is so full of love and possibility, I see nothing but celebrations ahead for her. You go, girl!

I love you Electra!

Saying good-byes –

On to Florida!!

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College life begins —

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Skateboarding and Puppy Camp

Southeastern Guide Dogs asks that their puppies in training spend about 3 weeks away from their assigned puppy raiser home. This provides the pup with a whole new range of experiences. That means camp time for these 9 month olds! So, our Dallas group got together at the Allen Skate Park for some fun with skateboards and bikes and skates and then we traded pups. What a confusing time for pups and raisers alike! Adjusting to new personalities! Whew!!

Electra has gone to stay with Harrison’s family and Harrison is at our house learning to be a farm dog. He is a Goldador (Lab/Golden cross) about 2 weeks older than Electra.

Thanks to Missy Griffy, Melissa Leslie, and Troy Ledbetter for the great pictures! And if you mouse over each picture you should get some captions. Next up – Life with Harrison!