22 February 2007
First a little background on how I got started raising puppies. I moved to Alfred NY in 9th grade. It was a huge culture shock as I had spent the last 10 years in Lansing, MI. I hated NY and 9th grade. I took to just going to school, coming home and going straight to my room. I started 4-H that summer and heard about the dog program. Well that started me on my quest to get a puppy. Of course my parents said no because I would be going off to college in a couple years and they did not want to be stuck with the dog when I left. I was determined to find a way to get a puppy. The answer came in March of 2002 when we attended March Dog Madness – a 4-H event sponsored by Cornell University every year. That year there happened to be 2 speakers representing Guiding Eyes for the Blind, one was the area coordinator for the Fingerlakes region and the other was an IA ( Instructor’s Assistant) who brought along a dog in training – a Golden named Norman. I was hooked. My mom and I went over and talked with them about the program. We found the 2 regions closest to us and when we got home I looked them both up on line. Come to find out that the Southern Tier region was just 20 minutes from where I lived. We emailed the Area Coordinator (AC) and set up a time to go and talk to them about the program. It just so happened that I went during an eval day so I got to meet the Puppy Evaluator (PE) and the AC the same time. We signed the puppy agreement right there and then. Next I had to get my home visit done and go to puppy classes. Not too long after I got news that my first puppy would be arriving.