Midge is now a potential breeding dog and has gone to her caretaker home. When she is two years old she will have her hips, elbows, eyes and heart certified and if everything looks good she will become a Helping Paws breeding dog.
The other seven puppies are now service dogs in training and are living with volunteer foster homes. Foster homes are very special people who take these puppies into their homes and hearts, work with them daily, attend weekly training classes, socialize and train them in public and of course, love them. They will teach them approximately 80 skills, including retrieving, turning on and off light switches, opening doors, snuggle and getting help. After two to three years the foster homes will give these well trained, wonderful dogs to an individual with a physical disability, other than sight or hearing.
At the end of the training, a Helping Paws dog is valued at $15,000. The people who receive them pay only a $50 application fee and an equipment fee of around $200. This is made possible through the generous donations of individuals, corporations, foundations and grants. If you would like to follow these puppies' progress as they develop into life changing gifts, please consider sponsoring one of them through the Helping Paws Blue Coat Benefactor program. For more information on how you can help, please visit the Helping Paws website, http://www.helpingpaws.org/ or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Going home day is always exciting, for the foster homes who have been anxiously awaiting these little pups and also for the caretaker home who has spent hours caring for them over the last eight weeks. The puppies were handed out amid smiles and laughter and when it was all over, I went home, laid on the couch, and Tiga and I crashed. I slept nine hours Monday night and when I woke up I automatically went into the dining room to check on the puppies. Part of me was a little sad to not see those cute little faces looking for me. The part of me that is saner and has a better grip on reality, sat down, enjoyed a cup of coffee and didn't have to worry about cleaning up puppy poop.