Recco and Stephanie

Written by Stephanie Ruggerone, Practice Administrator

Many of you are already aware of Animal Care Clinic’s association with Guide Dogs of America, as a portion of the donations received at our annual Wine Gala Open House benefited this wonderful organization.  What you may not know, is just as it takes a community to raise a child so it also takes the help of many people to properly socialize and raise a puppy to be the eyes for a blind individual.  While I may be the official puppy raiser for Recco, my sixteenth guide dog puppy, the entire clinic as well as our clients are instrumental in his education.  Successfully learning to remain calm and quiet, following commands given by a variety of people and exposure to life’s sights and sounds would never be accomplished without all of you!

Stephanie and Recco at work

Recco recently returned from a week of evaluations at Guide Dogs of America in Sylmar, California; and I am happy to report he passed with flying colors.  All puppies must be returned to the school several times during the raising period to insure they are developing into the type of dog that can handle the stressors of guide work.  At 6-months of age he was evaluated to determine if he should be considered for the school’s breeding program.  This recent evaluation was performed at 9-months of age and he was observed for his reactions at a busy indoor mall as well as for his response to obedience commands.  His hips and elbows were x-rayed to rule out dysplasia and he had exposure to unfamiliar dogs in the community runs and kennel.  His next evaluation is scheduled for his 1-year birthday in late December.  We are also honored that Recco has been chosen as one of several œpuppies in training  to attend the Guide Dogs of America annual gold tournament and awards banquet being held in Las Vegas next month!

Our Dr. Evans is scheduled to raise a female yellow lab for GDA.  Her puppy was born recently and can be seen on the puppy cam at the Guide Dogs Of America website.  I will let you know how Recco does in Las Vegas; perhaps he will bring home a jackpot!