Students at St. Rose of Lima Academy, which is located in Short Hills, recently attended an assembly program presented by The Seeing Eye of Morristown. The students learned many interesting facts about the blind and their seeing eye dogs, which included: “How long it takes to train a guide dog,” “are people with dog guides allowed in public places,” and “how to become a volunteer puppy raiser,” as well as not to approach a seeing eye dog because the dog is working. Students learned that each year about 500 puppies are born at The Seeing Eye. From the time they are 7-8 weeks old to about 18 months, puppies need the care of families that are devoted to them and to the mission of The Seeing Eye. During that time The Seeing Eye underwrites the cost for all veterinary care and provides a stipend to the families to help defray the cost of food.
Puppy raisers participate in classes to help them teach their pups basic obedience and good manners. They work with The Seeing Eye and other puppy raising families to share raising and training experiences. At about four months the puppies can begin to accompany their families to public places, such as schools, museums, parks, stores, libraries, and on buses and trains, similar to what they will encounter as working dogs.
Students also learned that The Seeing Eye receives no government funding, relying solely on private donations. The students have committed to raising funds for the Pennies for Puppies Program to help fund the extraordinary work of The Seeing Eye. The Academy’s Student Council is spearheading the fundraising efforts and welcome your contributions!