It’s Wednesday night and we go to GDA (Guide Dogs of America) on Friday to pick Ferris up. I am simultaneously very excited and terrified. We’ve been watching the GDA puppy cam pretty obsessively over the past week. They showed a lot of Ferris’s litter, which is fun. Ferris is part of the “F” litter, so we sent in four “F” names (Fargo, Ferris, Finley and Franklin), and GDA picked one. They won’t use a name that another puppy has recently used, and they want to make sure it’s something appropriate for a Guide Dog.
I got our puppy raisers’ handbook tonight at the monthly meeting. There’s one section for each week so you know what you should (and shouldn’t) be doing as your puppy grows. Guide Dog puppies are not allowed to get on the furniture, play with tennis balls, eat table scraps, be called by a nickname, or go potty without being on leash, among other things. I think the no table scraps is going to be the toughest for our family.
We will have Ferris until he is about 18 months old, at which point he will return to GDA for assessment and advanced training. If he passes all his health and training clearances, he will be matched and become a working Guide Dog. If he fails, he will become a career change dog, and we have first right to adopt him. There is allegedly a six-year-long waiting list to adopt a career change dog!