ADVENTURES WITH CODY....OUR YEAR RAISING A LD PUPPY!
As many of you know, our family has been involved with many charitable endeavors throughout the years. From biking 300 miles for Make a Wish 12 years in a row, to running countless Red Cross Blood Drives, to coordinating several run and walk events for various charitable organizations just to name a few, we are always on the lookout for new and engaging ways to "make a difference". As many of you also know, chaos always reigns in the Sinclair household! It's pretty much never quite around here....so it seemed a natural fit for us to bring Cody, a little black lab puppy, into our lives last July at the age of 7 weeks. He fit right into our family and immediately stole all of our hearts.....except for Chauncey, our 10 year old labradoodle, who I think thought perhaps we had lost our minds brining this crazy puppy into our home!:) Even he was mostly won over in the end.
Our job as puppy raisers was to give him a good home environment, teach him basic obedience commands, socialize him in many different environments, and of course to give him lots of love! It was such a wonderful experience taking him out to "work"! We jokingly referred to him as Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde because when his LD jacket was put on, he knew he had a "job" to do and he had to behave well. At home, let's just say he was a tad more energetic and spirited!:) And YES....it was hard to say goodbye to him a little over 2 weeks ago, BUT it is super exciting to us to think that he could literally change the course of someone's life by giving them independence, mobility, and confidence that they did not have before!! It is truly humbling to be a small part of this amazing team of people(breeders, vets, trainers, puppy counselors, countless volunteers, LD employees) that makes this all happen!! It costs $35,000 to raise one of these dogs, once they begin their specialized training AND Leader Dogs for the Blind is in the middle of the largerst campaign in their history to turn the existing kennel into a state of the art Canine Development Center!!
So PLEASE join me as I raise funds for this amazing organization and help them continue their mission of empowering people who are blind or visually impaired with lifelong skills for safe and independent daily travel. Any amount will make a difference.......:)
For more information on the new Canine Development Center, please see the photo gallery and video below! Also if you are interested in puppy raising or volunteer, go to www.leaderdog.org for more information.
Welcome to the new Canine Development Center!
From the moment you arrive, you will see the Canine Development Center is designed to be the ideal environment. View these images to see the main changes during this project and discover the huge impact it will have on our dogs and clients.
Open Housing Villages
At times the kennel environment can be stressful. To ease this stress, we redesigned our housing bays with an open concept that allows for ample stimulation and interaction. This includes suites that have open sight lines for every single dog. Plus, the 255 suites are 2.5 times larger than the current suites. Since we know dogs like to be around other dogs, up to 60% of the suites allow for cohabitation. It will also include a large, open area where the dogs can spend time with our volunteers and staff, allowing for even more human-dog interaction.
Breeding & Puppy Area
The journey to becoming a Leader Dog starts at birth, which means the Canine Development Center was developed with our breeding stock and puppies in mind. Improvements include: A breeding area featuring separate housing for males and females, allowing them to remain relaxed prior to breeding. Also, there will be separation between puppies and breeding stock dogs, offering a more peaceful environment that helps protect young immune systems. They layout also allows for increased socialization and supervision and adjacent daytime and nighttime spaces to reduce the need to move puppies throughout the day (previously, puppies had to be carted to and from a converted garage).
New Centralized Veterinary Clinic
Our esteemed team of veterinarians has the responsibility of caring for each and every one of our dogs. Every dog that enters this facility must be seen and monitored at the on-site veterinary clinic. As our operations have expanded and evolved, so has the need for an advanced, centrally located veterinary clinic so our veterinarians can give our future Leader Dogs the best care possible. With 35% more space, the clinic will allow us to add new and enhanced technology. Also, included is defined areas for X-ray, surgery, post-surgery recovery and endoscopic procedures to help with work flow.
The New Canine Suites
The new canine suites are 2.5 times larger!