Wednesday, November 9, 2011

November - NAIFA monthly report on Beacon

Hi Sue!

It was great speaking with you today regarding Beacon, the future guide dog puppy sponsored by NAIFA – North Suncoast, Inc.

A little background on the little guy…

Beacon is a male yellow Labrador Retriever.  He was born on September 4, 2011.  His parents are Ellen (a black lab) and Gunnar (a yellow lab).  His coat is a very pale yellow but his ears are a little darker.   He is very cute and (maybe) a little on the smaller size.

About us…

We are very excited to have the opportunity to raise Beacon in our home in Franklin, Tennessee.  Beacon is the second dog we are raising for Southeastern Guide Dogs.  Our first dog, Honey (a female black lab) went In-For-Training (advanced harness training on the Southeastern Guide Dogs campus) on October 19, 2011. Along with my husband, Scotty, Beacon is being co-raised in varying capacities by our 6 children.  Our oldest, Emily, is a Sex Crimes/Child Abuse Investigator for the state of South Carolina.   Emily is going to puppy camp Beacon for us (puppy camp occurs around 6 months of age where the puppy is required to live with another raiser for 2 weeks for evaluation and to provide the puppy with the chance to begin learning to respond to different handlers).  Jenny and Sara are both in college but will be pitching in to raise Beacon during breaks. Jenny may bring Beacon to college with her for a week or two.  Michael, a senior in high school, will be responsible for 15 minute training sessions on odd numbered days, Billy, a 5th grade student, will be responsible for 15 minute training on even numbered days and Amy, a high school freshman will be responsible for 15 minute training on weekends.  At least that is our plan!

We expect to expose Beacon to many new experiences.  Mainly Beacon will be in and around town with me or at any of the kids numerous events (cross country events, band and chorus concerts, flag competitions, Mock Trial competitions, DestiNation Imagination competitions, and the like) but Beacon will also frequently come with us to Scotty’s parents farm.  As Beacon matures he will go to work with Scotty one day a week.  

We created a blog to document our experiences of raising a guide dog puppy when we found out we were going to be raising Honey.  Our hope is to continue this blog with Beacon.  Should you want to follow our experiences while we are raising Beacon, our blog is located  I will provide you with advanced warning though – I am not a professional writer, blogger or photographer – but I try to keep the blog updated with funny stories and pictures of our experiences. 

We decided to raise a puppy for the blind as a way to help our children learn to give to others.  Each of us has learned so many valuable lessons from our experiences of raising our first puppy for Southeastern we are excited to continue learning as we now raise Beacon.

We will try our best to send you an update prior to the third Wednesday of each month so you may share Beacon’s progress with your generous members.  Southeastern Guide Dogs states “It takes a village to raise a guide dog” and with your sponsorship, our raising and the great trainers at Southeastern, it is our greatest wish that Beacon will graduate to become a Guide Dog and serve as a ‘beacon of light’ for his blind partner.

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