Dog Guide Users of New Hampshire
Next Meeting, April 21, 2018
Mark your calendars now for our upcoming annual meeting. We will be voting for president, vice-president, secretary and treasurer. You must have attended at least two meetings last year to vote in this election.
Larry Ashford will be our speaker for the April 21st meeting. He will be sharing his experiences from his recent visit to Japan. While there, he visited the Chuba Guide Dogs for the Blind Association, including the kennels. He brought gifts to them from DGUNH and they gave gifts in return. Come and learn what it’s like to raise or use a Guide Dog in Japan.
Our next meeting will take place on April 21, 2018 at the Red Blazer Restaurant in Concord, NH. Mark your calendars now so you won’t miss it. Watch for menu selection information on our list serve. If you are not on our list, please contact Carol Holmes, DGUNH President, at 603-434-6042.
Walk for Sight
When: June 2, 2018
Location: 25 Walker Street, Concord, NH
Registration AM and Walk Kicks Off at 11:00AM
The Walk for Sight is a community-oriented, non-competitive, walk in Concord, NH. The purpose of the Walk is to raise awareness of the advancements in medical care, therapies, treatments, and technology that can improve life for the growing number of people with vision loss. Join us in support of Future In Sight’s mission to help those of all ages who are blind and visually impaired develop the skills to live independently and thrive with sight loss in New Hampshire.
Joining our team is fun and easy: ask your family, friends, and coworkers to walk with you as there’s no minimum or maximum to the number of Walkers on a team. Anyone interested in joining us this year can register on-line and raise money. We are “The Doggone Best Team.” To join our team, here is our link:Doggone Best Team
The goal for this year is $2,000.00. Let’s exceed way beyond that!
January General Meeting Summary
If you missed our last general meeting, you missed a fascinating overview of dog guide use in Japan. Takashi Nakaya, our special guest speaker, detailed puppy raising, training for both guides and users, and guide dog discrimination in Japan. Takashi provided travel tips and suggestions for assistance for guide dog users who will be travelling to Japan. In addition, Takashi brought signs, gloves, keychains and light-up collars from Japanese guide dog organizations, which were raffled off to meeting attendees.
Hi! My name is Mollie and I am a Seeing Eye® dog.
I was born at the breeding facilities of the Seeing Eye in NJ on November 1, 2008. I guess that makes me a Jersey girl. There were 2 girls and 6 boys in our litter. Both girls were black while all the boys were tan. As is the tradition at the Seeing Eye, all puppies in a litter are named with the same first letter. As you can guess, our letter was “M.” There was Mitch, Milo, Mo and of course me, Mollie, to name a few.
I spent the first 7 weeks of my life at the breeding facility with my mom and siblings, although during the last week we spent more and more time apart. Then one day, I found myself riding in the back seat of a car, sitting on the lap of a 22 year old girl while her parents drove us to my new home. First stop, the extremely large fenced back yard, which I immediately Christened with my digested breakfast.
This family, known as puppy raisers, provided me with a home for the next 16 months. Initially, I learned basic manners, like not going on the furniture, coming when called, remaining calm and of course, the all-important toilet training. As I grew older, I was introduced to public situations, like crowds, busses, stores, learning to ignore people and other dogs, etc.
Every two weeks we would get together with other puppy raiser families and their dogs to work with seeing Eye staff to check on our progress, learn puppy raising skills and to discuss how things were going. I loved to see the other dogs. Sadly, some dogs were removed from the program due to health or temperament issues.
At age 18 months, I returned to the Seeing Eye to complete my training. It was sad to leave my puppy raising family behind, but I quickly bonded with my new trainer named Chris. He taught me all the skills I would need to be a Seeing Eye dog. After four months of intensive guide dog training, I passed my exam and was paired with Rick in august 2010. Sadly, four of my siblings never made the cut. For the next four weeks, Rick and I trained together. Rick was as new at being a guide dog owner as I was to being a guide dog. Initially, we made lots of mistakes together (Rick more than me, I’m sure) but eventually, we both graduated and it was time to fly off to my new home. Although this was my first time on a plane, the practice seats at my school prepared me and I knew just what to do when we got on the plane. I just curled up under the seat in front of Rick. I love to fly. Rick and I have been to 28 states and four countries in our short time together. Later this year, Rick and I will travel to Texas, upping my total to 29.
You may think that I have a rough life since you only see me when I’m working. But when I get home and the harness comes off, I get to act like a normal dog. I have to canine companions at home, a 15 year old Welsh Pembroke Corgi, and a 5 year old English Springer Spaniel. Besides playing tug-or-war with a rope toy, our favorite game to play is to see who can deposit the most amount of fur on the floors between vacuuming.
I only have one pet peeve (get it, PET peeve?) which is when people talk to me or try to pet me when I am working. You would think it was obvious; when my harness is on, I am working. Even if I am sitting still, waiting for my next command from Rick, if my harness is on, I am working. I know that I am hard to ignore, with my saucer like molten chocolate eyes and my coffee table clearing tail wag, but you’re a lot smarter than I am, and if I can be trained to ignore you, then you should be able to ignore me. After all, my job is to keep Rick safe and any interference by you can compromise that.
Well, it’s time for me to go back to work, or maybe I'll take a nap, so like Tigger says, TTFN, Ta Ta For Now!