July 27, 2021
All of us at The Seeing Eye are pleased to tell you that Patty is in our present class of students and will soon return home with her new Seeing Eye dog.
We are writing to you because you play a significant role in the success of the new working partnership. We cannot overemphasize to you enough the importance of the first few weeks at home in the development of the relationship between them. In that time, the success of the two as a working team will be determined. Good teamwork develops when the owner follows three rules in dog handling: consistency, praise when earned, and correction when necessary.
Family, friends and co-workers can help by observing a few simple rules of their own:
1. When owner and dog arrive, greet them in a relaxed manner. Do not rush up to them.
2. Avoid inviting family and friends over to meet the dog during the first few days. Give the dog a chance to adjust to its new surroundings gradually.
- Let the dog make the first advance to greet you. Don’t stare at the dog; it’s unnerving.
4. Never follow the team when it is working. The dog will recognize you and look back at you rather than paying attention to its work. This is a serious distraction and will prevent the team from working safely and effectively.
5. Never touch or talk to a Seeing Eye Dog when in harness.
6. The owner should insist upon good manners in the home – this means, for example, no tidbits at the table at mealtime, no barking at the doorbell, no lying on furniture.
7. The owner has been taught to correct the dog by using the leash. A leash correction does not hurt the dog; coupled with affection, it results in efficient guide work and good behavior.
8. The owner has learned how to groom and care for the dog completely. It is the owner’s responsibility to feed, groom and take the dog out 3 or 4 times a day to meet its needs.
9. A Seeing Eye dog is not a pet, but the family need not ignore it. The important thing to remember is that the greatest amount of affection and care must come from its owner.
10. Even though the owner has a wealth of experience gained from working and living with a previous dog, a new dog means a new relationship. The owner needs to help the dog adjust to new working conditions away from The Seeing Eye and the instructor. Each dog has a unique personality and will be quite different from its owner’s previous dog.
We hope that this information will help you become more familiar with The Seeing Eye program and more confident in your role of helping to strengthen a wonderful working partnership. To view our Coming Home video, please paste link into your browser: http://www.seeingeye.org/graduates/coming-home-video.html.
David H. Johnson
Director of Instruction and Training
*Note from Patty*
Below is a nice picture of Blue and me. Picture includes descriptive Text.
Patty and her guide dog Blue. Patty has her hair tied back in a low ponytail and rests her right hand on Blue’s head. She wears a white shirt with a pink and purple butterfly on the front and light blue shorts. Blue is a handsome black lab. He wears a brown leather harness with a handle attached to the back and is smiling at the camera as he sits in front of Patty. In the background is a brick building with white, windowed doors and a flowerpot overflowing with pink and yellow blooms.