My wife met someone at Kohl’s Department Store with a Susquehanna Service Dog (SSD), made an inquiry, and told me about the encounter. We decided to apply as volunteer “puppy raisers”. After a home visit, an interview, a “clicker” class and a couple of puppy raiser orientation classes, we were approved, and good to go! Two days before Christmas 2011 we got our first puppy, and that was Maggie! That is when our wonderful adventure began. It is about a two year process from beginning to end when the “puppy” is handed off to a client whom they will help for the rest of their life. I am retired from Johnson & Johnson, and the USAF, Sue is a retired preschool teacher. This has turned out to be one of the most rewarding things we have ever done.
Maggie is a very sweet pure bred Black Labrador Retriever. We got her when she was 9 weeks old. Her father is from NY State, and her Mom is “Midge” a SSD breeding dog. She had 6 siblings all named after old movie/dance stars (old is relative :-)). Maggie was named after Ann-Margret Olsson (age 71). Maggie’s siblings still at SSD are Buster (Buster Keaton), Lucy (Lucille Ball), Kate (Kathryn Hepburn), Carol (Carol Burnett -Age 79). One (name unknown) of her siblings went to NY with the father.
Maggie has moved onto the Guide Dog Foundation ( http://www.guidedog.org ), Smithville, NY. She was just to active for our Service Dog program. She will now try he hand (paw) at helping the sight impaired. At the same time we picked up Marcia from the Guiding Eyes organization ( http://www.guidingeyes.org ), Yorktown Heights, NY. Marcia let them know that seeing eye work was not for her, so she will try her hand (paw) at service work! This worked out well for us and the dogs. We miss Maggie, but treasure our memories of her. We love Marcia, and look forward to helping her find her calling in life.