Consider Raising a Puppy

On left is a young golden retriever puppy wearing a Future Leader Dog bandanna. On right is an adult golden retriever in harness

Do you love dogs? Are you passionate about making a difference in the life of someone who is blind? Consider becoming a volunteer puppy raiser. Opening your home to a puppy is a commitment, but in exchange you’ll receive moments of joy that will last a lifetime.

Sandy and Gary Frick were in their living room watching the news when the words, “You too can be a puppy raiser,” caught their attention. Sandy was immediately on-board; Gary was reluctant. It was a few months before Sandy sent in their puppy raiser application. She did it when Gary was at work.

After receiving their first puppy, Murphy, a black Labrador retriever, Gary cautioned Sandy, “You won’t be able to take him back.” Sandy remembers, “When returning Murphy, I didn’t get 10 blocks from home before I started crying. I only made it to Leader Dog because I couldn’t let Gary be right.”

24 Leader Dog Puppies Later…

The Fricks say that meeting clients who received the dogs they raised is what keeps them coming back for more. Sandy recalls, “One client told us that getting her Leader Dog was better than all the Christmas gifts she had ever gotten in her life. We’re amazed that what we thought was a small thing we could do makes such a big impact on a person’s life.”

“I’d tell anyone who is considering raising a puppy to take time to think about it,” says Sandy. “Also, that it has been one of the most rewarding things we’ve ever done. When you experience how you can directly impact someone’s life, it’s a feeling that you will always remember.”

Pictured above is Gibson, a golden retriever that Gary and Sandy raised for Leader Dog.

Learn more about becoming a puppy raiser.

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