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Dogs are the eyes for the blind

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By Jade Bulecza - bio | email

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) –Dogs can be the eyes for the blind.

Before dogs can advance to guide dog training school they have to learn obedience with the help of puppy raisers.

A couple in Valdosta has trained puppies since 2008 by teaching them manners and taking them on outings around town frequently.

This is Ellen, a 10-month year old yellow lab who's on her way to leading the blind. Tammie and Mike Glasscock say they're the first puppy raisers in Valdosta.

"We have them for about a year and we take them on outings, teach them basic obedience and then teach them house manners," said Tammie Glasscock.

These dogs must build a strong foundation before they can go to the next level which is guide dog training. Puppies like Ellen can advance to this training when they're between 12 to 14 months old.

"They need to be what we call bomb-proof, to where they can be pretty much in any situation that they would be working as a guide dog, without being distracted or nervous," said Glasscock.

It's not all work for guide dogs, when the coat's on they're working when the coat's off they're just like regular dogs.

"If you've ever had a friend who was blind and had a guide dog, you see how much freedom they're allowed to have and how much more they can get out of life," said Mike Glasscock.

When out on the town the Glasscocks also try to educate people.

"Puppies when we're raising them they have the same rights as working dogs," said Mike Glasscock.

The puppies go everywhere with them like stores and restaurants.

"If you don't know he's there, then we get through a meal and you still don't realize he's there, then we've done our job and the dog is behaving just like he's suppose to," said Mike.

They've been raising puppies since 2008.

If you're interested in becoming a puppy raiser or are interested in the Southeastern Guide Dogs' Annual Walk click here.


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