These little guys should come with a warning label-caution I may break your heart! It is doubtful that anyone would have the willpower to walk away once they held a Labrador puppy. In March 2014 my daughter and I went to the Guide Dogs of America (GDA) campus to pick up Gage. He was one of nine puppies going home that day. GDA does an excellent job breeding these dogs to be Seeing Eye dogs for visually impaired people. This is an important non-profit that provides an invaluable service.
This is why there are some many repeat puppy raisers; people that take the puppies into their homes, businesses and lives. Socializing them, teaching them basic obedience and socialization. The dogs are with their puppy raisers for approximately seventeen months. During that time the puppy raisers form strong bonds with their dogs.
I doubt that I was any different than anyone else in that room the day we picked them up. Puppies, kittens and babies are magnets for the kind hearted among us. Like lemmings we rush over to pick them up, hold them and welcome them into our hearts and homes. They quickly become part of every home they join and part of our work life. We cheer their triumphs and for give their little mistakes. Then all too soon we get the letter telling us when we will have to turn them in. News that is about as welcome as a heart attack and in a way it is. It is impossible not to love them dearly. In the course of their short stay with us a bond is formed. Yet, as heart breaking as turning them in we all are cheering for them to pass. They are needed to be the eyes and the companion to a visually impaired person. It is a higher calling and one I have told Gage to answer if that is path. Tears will flow from now to the day I turn him in.