Rewarding and challenging
We applied to become Puppy Raisers because we’ve always admired the work that Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind do.
We have a 7-year-old lab Alfie who is an amazing part of our family. As we can’t imagine life without Alfie, we thought it would be fulfilling to raise an Irish Guide Dog for a year so that a person/child will have a doggie companion to support their life.
Our experience so far has been rewarding but challenging i.e. returning to the early days of puppyhood which you quickly forget when your older dog is so relaxed; waking during the night for toileting puppy, constant supervision! However, the bond was immediate and Yeska is a clever and sweet little puppy who is keen to learn.
A typical days’ training starts at 7am with her first meal. We incorporate training throughout the day, with some dedicated time for one-to-one learning. We also make socialization visits with Yeska in our arms to SuperValu to meet locals (she’s a big hit!), the local bus stop to get used to traffic, noise etc.
We, and our two sons, really just weave her into our day. She’s just turned 12 weeks old and is progressing really well and has settled quickly into our home. She’s very responsive and is a typical puppy in relation to nipping and chewing but we manage it with ignoring naughty behaviour and encouraging chew toys!
She likes to copy Alfie and knows that calm and sit gets you treats!
We’re really looking forward to the next stage when she’ll be on the lead outside and getting to experience more adventures!