Beverly Kramer, Puppy Raiser

An adolescent yellow lab and golden retriever cross lies outside on a large, flat rock. He is tilting his head at the camera and wearing his Future Leader Dog bandanna

Beverly Kramer has been raising Leader Dogs for 20 years. In 1998, she attended an annual dinner at her local Chamber of Commerce, and the keynote speaker was a woman who is blind and her Leader Dog. “It was amazing to hear this woman’s story; I learned so much from her. She told me all about the puppy raising program,” says Beverly. Beverly already had experience training dogs before through her work with 4-H. “I immediately thought, ‘This is something I’m capable of doing,'” she says. After waiting till the passing of her elderly Yorkshire terrier, Beverly submitted her application to Leader Dog and nine months later she had a puppy in her home.

Most recently, Beverly was raising Future Leader Dog Ramsey (a Labrador/golden retriever cross) with the occasional help of her husband, Dennis. “He told me to not forget to mention him, but I did all of the training. Although he helps with taking care of the dogs,” Beverly says. Since she has started raising, she has taken a puppy each year and plans to continue because both she and her husband have always had dogs in their home.

Through Leader Dog, Beverly has had the opportunity to meet many amazing people. “It’s been an interesting journey. I have met people that I would have never met before in my life and it has been very enriching,” says Beverly. “It’s all about the clients. I have become close with these people; I have had them stay in my home and gone to some of their weddings.”

Besides being a puppy raiser, Beverly has also been a puppy counselor for the last five years, and she loves helping her group raise successful Leader Dogs. “I like to encourage them because it’s one of the best gifts they will give and one of the best life experiences I will ever have,” she says. As much as she loves puppy raising, she likes to prepare people for the commitment they are taking on. “It takes an awful a lot of time and family and friends’ support.”

Thankfully, the puppy development team is here to offer support to the puppy raisers. “I love the guidance the puppy development team gives to us raisers. I have called so many times with questions and they are always helpful. I had one dog with fear issues and they gave me great advice about positive reinforcement, which worked wonderfully because she overcame her problems and went on to be a successful Leader Dog.”

As a retired speech and language pathologist, Beverly has a knack for learning and education. “The thing I find most challenging about being a puppy raiser is making sure I stay on top of educating myself on innovative training techniques. It’s important for me to stay educated because the more I know, the better job I can do of raising.”

RECOMMENDED BLOGS & VIDEOS

Close-up photo of a woman looking into the camera wearing a black face mask with a white Leader Dog logo on the left side. There are crinkles around her eyes that make it appear she may be smiling. She is holding a white cane.

Webinar: Leader Dog’s COVID-19 Safety Protocols

In the sixth installment of our webinar series, team members ...
A woman with a white cane walks down a sidewalk on a sunny day. There is an arch with a bar through the middle placed on the sidewalk in front of her. This is an obstacle for her to practice working around.

Orientation & Mobility Experience at Leader Dog

By Client Justin Whittington When writing my articles, I try ...
Rod sits on a low wall outside near green grass. He is wearing a white polo with a vintage Leader Dog logo and smiling at the camera. A German shepherd in Leader Dog harness sits next to Rod on the ground.

Congratulations to Rod Haneline!

We are pleased to announce that Rod Haneline has been ...
Ashley is standing at a curb on the sidewalk of a tree-lined street. She is smiling at the camera and walking with a yellow lab in Leader Dog harness.

Clicker Training Your Dog

By Guide Dog Mobility Instructor Ashley Nunnelly In this post, ...
A yellow lab in leather Leader Dog harness sits on a sidewalk looking up at the camera. Its mouth is open as if smiling. The legs of the person standing behind and holding the dog's leash are visible.

You Can’t Legislate Respectful Behavior

By Client Joanne Lax We have plenty of laws in ...
Ashley sitting in a chair with a light gray blanket over her legs. She is leaning over to give a pointy-eared merle dog a kiss

Dogs Don’t Speak English

By Guide Dog Mobility Instructor Ashley Nunnelly Wouldn’t it be ...
Your input makes us better!

Take the 3-minute survey and help us better connect with you and other compassionate supporters who want to help people who are blind become unstoppable.