On Monday, Oct. 8, from 6 to 8 p.m., Guiding Eyes for the Blind will showcase its guide dogs in training at an open house at the First Congregational Church, 219 North Granby Road. Visitors will learn what it’s like to be a Guiding Eyes puppy raiser as they meet Guiding Eyes staff and volunteers and cuddle with guide dogs in training.
Puppy raisers are volunteers that take eight-week-old puppies into their homes and love, nurture and educate them for a 12- to 16-month period before sending them off to their calling as a guide dog for a blind or visually impaired person. For someone without sight, a Guiding Eyes dog provides life-changing independence, as well as unconditional love and support. The Guiding Eyes Puppy Raising Program in Connecticut has five regions: Northern, Central, Eastern, Southern and Southwestern. Puppy raisers come from all walks of life and include couples, families with children, young adults and senior citizens. Some already have forever pets of their own, while others commit to raising guide dogs as a way to give their love to a new dog each year.