Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, there are still people who need guide dogs. So, over the past few months, Guide Dogs of America has slowly begun switching to safer procedures. First, they moved their puppy training completely online.
Now, they’ve also found an efficient and adorable way to send future guide dogs off with volunteers. In a heartwarming puppy drive-thru, volunteer puppy-raisers come to pick up a puppy and take them to a comfortable home. There, they will learn how to be an amazing guide dog.
Puppies are already too cute to handle, but there’s something about guide dog puppies that’s even more lovable. Guide Dogs of America refers to their puppy pickup system as a “puppy-go-home” event. It’s a little different due to social distancing, but it’s equally adorable.
Volunteers can drive up to the campus to pick up a guide dog in training. Staff will bring the puppies right out to each person’s car while wearing protective gear. Then, they hand over the little puppy through the window. Even with face masks on, it’s easy to see that the volunteers are overjoyed to welcome these special puppies into their homes.
These puppy raisers receive the puppies when they’re only about 8 weeks old. So, each family has plenty of time to get to know their adorable pup. Through online classes, the puppies will learn all the skills they need to become successful guide dogs. That starts with basic obedience and important traits like calmness and confidence.
The precautions taken during the COVID-19 pandemic are not ideal for puppy training, but the staff is making the most of it. As long as the puppies are happy and still getting proper training, that’s what matters most.
“We are incredibly proud of the perseverance and dedication that our staff has shown during COVID-19, allowing us to push our mission forward,” Guide Dogs of America posted on Facebook.
When the puppies are about 16 months old, they will return to the Guide Dogs of America campus to work more closely with the staff. Then, they will be partnered with a blind or visually impaired person. As hard as it is for volunteers to let the puppies go, they’re happy to know they’ve helped.
Guide Dogs of America is based in Southern California. They are always looking for more volunteer puppy raisers, even during this unusual time. Click here to find out more information about how to become a puppy raiser.
Watch the Adorable Puppy Drive-Thru Here:
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