Saturday, June 29, 2013

Dorian's Early Progress at Guide Dog U

On April 20th my family said goodbye to Dorian at Southeastern Guide Dogs. Dorian trotted off with a trainer to start a brand new phase - the work of training to be a guide dog. That was 10 weeks ago.

Little by little, news about Dorian has trickled in. First, posted on Facebook were a couple of wonderful pictures of him with room mates at the Assessment Kennel. They all looked like a bunch of college kids having a grand time. Later I got the finding on his hips and elbows (excellent and normal). That was a relief! Then the news he and the rest of his college buddies were making the move to the Training Kennel. Next came his first Training Report (hooray!) and just a few days ago, Dorian's harness picture came in the mail. These info-morsels and tidbits are like food to my starving PR soul, I quickly gobble them up and wish for more. But the school is understandably busy with the business of training guide dogs. Puppy raisers must learn patience. Nevertheless I really appreciate the mentioned updates and pictures from my Area Coordinator and the staff at the school. THANK-YOU so much Southeastern Guide Dogs!

Below you can see some of Dorian's progress at the school. He has gone from freshman at the Assessment Kennel to sophomore at the Training Kennel. So far, so good...!

Dorian (L) with brother and roomie Holden (R) at the Assessment Kennel in April. This picture and the one below were posted on the PR Facebook page by Katie, one of the staff.

From left:  Dorian and Holden (top) with Lalo, Holly and Pax. Holden and Pax are Dorian's brothers. Picture taken in late May just before their move to the Training Kennel. 

Below is the comment section on his first Training Report. He is in Phase 1 - learning curbs, straight line walking, accepting the harness and turns:

COMMENTS- Dori is coming along very nicely through his training, and he is very smart! He has learned very quickly that the clicker means he gets a treat, and does not mind working for the food as training progresses. Dori loves playing out in the field with his buddies in the yard, and he has good social skills as well. 

That's my Dori! I can certainly verify as his raiser Dorian does not mind working for food. I can also verify the part about Dorian's social skills. Dorian could charm the Statue of Liberty's dog into loosening up and playing with him. 

Dorian's official harness photo. He looks so mature and dignified - is this the goofball I raised?

So Dorian is doing well...and I have a new service pup to keep me busy (a huge understatement). We really are having a good time together. But that doesn't mean I don't get choked up when I come across one of Dorian's battered toys, or visit one of our old haunts. Puppy raisers out there probably know what I mean. 


  1. Dorian looks so handsome and professional in his harness!
    It's so great that you get photos from training. I raise for GDB and we get phase reports, but no photos, to the best of my knowledge. (I'm on my first one)

    Just curious: Why'd you switch organizations from SEGD?
    St. Francis seems really interesting.

  2. Yes I saw your blog. Welcome to puppy raising, good for you and best wishes!
    About the photos: I was very fortunate they posted 2 pics on FB with Dorian in them. That is not the norm usually. At SEGD every raiser gets a puppy in harness picture when they first start raising. When the dog goes back they get an in training harness picture. They make a great set.

    I plan on doing a post on St Francis sometime soon that might explain.