Thursday, March 21, 2013


Sorry this post is a bit late I have been really busy with school. Baron was my 5th puppy I raised for Guide Dogs. Baron was a male yellow lab, and who happened to be the first puppy I raised with another dog in the house. I received Baron in September on my Junior year of High School. It had been a few months since Lobo had been CC'd and we adopted him. We had also just adopted my sister's little Yorkie Princess. However, after begging my parents to let me raise another puppy they agreed. So in September the day after I got back from a school trip to Hume Lake we met the puppy truck to meet our new boy. He was really cute as a baby. He had the droopy face that made him look sleepy. After picking up we headed home so I could get ready for my school's football game. Since my High School was really small and no pet dogs were allowed on campus we decided to take Baron with us and let him sleep on a blanket. Well part way through the game we got a call that my Grandma was in the hospital and we should come quickly because they weren't sure how long she would have (note: she recovered and lived for couple more years). As you can imagine we were all panicking about what to do with Baron, since he was to young to go into a hospital. Luckily another raiser said they would watch him for us, so we speeded over to her house dropped him off and headed to the hospital.
Baron and I the day I got him
Baron as a baby pup
Baron loved to sleep this way
For the first few months Baron was a very easy calm puppy. By 4 months old he was ready to go to school with me almost full time. Well at around 6 months old Baron started to get loose stools, and we couldn't figure out why. He actually started to loose a lot of weight. It was decided that we would send him up to Guide Dogs for a medical evaluation. Within a week of getting there he was all healthy. They kept him about 2 weeks longer to be sure. By time he got back he had grown some and had hit teenage stage. He was a bit of a handful for a while and had trouble settling, so he only went to school 2-3 days a week for a while (on top of that two other students decided to try puppy raising and our school would only allow one dog on campus each day). Luckily a few months before he was recalled he got fixed and that helped a lot. The one funny part about Baron was the fact that he was a lab who wasn't food motivated. My CFR didn't believe me at first then he tried it. Both times he tried Baron would take the food look at him and spit it out at him. We even tried hot dogs didn't matter.
Baron in the snow for the first time
Baron in his jacket not long after I got him back from his medical eval
One of the funnest things I did with Baron was during the summer that I had him I was interning at GDB for 2 weeks so for one week he got to stay with my Mom and I in the hotel. It was fun having him there to take to lunch everyday and see him once I got off. He got a lot of exposure to San Rafael that week. Fun Day happend to fall during the time I was interning so I got to introduce him to everyone I was working with and they loved him. Another fun thing I did with him was take my senior pictures. Since everyone was use to seeing me with a dog it was only fitting he was in my senior picture. The picture was a big hit and he even smiled for the camera. He also attended my sister's Jr.High graduation.

Baron all grown up

Baron at a park when he was nearing the age of recall

Baron at school 11 days before he was recalled
On November 21 of my senior year of High School Baron returned for formal training. We were sad to see him go and told our leader if he didn't make it we wanted him back. Well he went through the phases quickly, and we soon got the call that he had been matched. On his graduation day I was excited to see him but I also came down with the Flu really bad. I had a fever and it was really warm out that day. My parents tried to convince me not to go, but I was determined to. I felt really bad cause I was so sick it was hard to enjoy graduation. When I saw Baron I hardly recognized him. The normally excited boy was really really calm. He said hi to me then went over to his person layed by their feet and went to sleep. We met his trainer who told us that he was the dream guide dog which made me happy to hear. Unfortunately for me graduation was pretty short lived. I had presented Baron to his handler and was standing behind her chair and a few more dogs had been presented when I began to feel dizzy (I had been drinking lots of water during the graduation and still had a fever). Apparently I collapsed on the stage and the nurses had to come help me. Since the stage was cement they had to call paramedics to check me. Once given the all clear we had to say goodbye to Baron and his partner and drive home (i was sick the whole way home). Graduation day was the last time I saw or heard about Baron so despite the chaos that happened I am glad I got to say one last goodbye.

Fun Fact: Baron and his partner shared a room with another person who received a male black lab named Pascal. If you remember Pascal was the name of my 2nd guide dog puppy. Turns out during the 1 year Pascal was retired they decided to reuse the name. So there are now 2 working guides named Pascal.

1 comment:

  1. Your post made me cry. I raise for Guide Dogs of the Desert and I raised my first dog during my Junior year of highschool just like you did. His name is Nick and he was CC'D for air sniffing even though he was an amazing guide it was stressing him out to much. Living in a dorm room I couldn't take him back and my family was not in a financial situation to take on another dog. I knew deep down inside that he was meant to be a working dog. He is working with a blind veteran in California as a mobility and PTSD dog. I have written them many letters to see how he is doing but have not gotten a response. It's been just over a year since he returned for formal training and it has taken me that long to accept the fact that i'm never going to see him again. I respect their privacy but it's so hard not knowing if he's safe or not. I'm now approaching my Sophomore year of college and considering finish raising a puppy for GDD. My college (NMSU) is NOT service dog friendly so i'm trying to start a service dog club on campus and kind of rebel against them in a way. If I'm approved I would like to start raising next semester. What's your major? Are there classes that you find difficult to take your dogs with you too?