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Dog Guide Users of New Hampshire

Dog Guide Users of New Hampshire

New website

Welcome to our newly updated website. Every effort has been made to ensure that this site is accessible to persons using assistive technologies, like screen magnifiers and screen readers. Additionally, as phones and tablets become more ubiquitous, the site has also been designed to adapt to the device displaying the website. Please >send us your feedback should you encounter any issues in these areas.

January General Meeting Summary

If you missed our last general meeting, you missed a fascinating overview of dog guide use in Japan. Takashi Nakaya, our special guest speaker, detailed puppy raising, training for both guides and users, and guide dog discrimination in Japan. Takashi provided travel tips and suggestions for assistance for guide dog users who will be travelling to Japan. In addition, Takashi brought signs, gloves, keychains and light-up collars from Japanese guide dog organizations, which were raffled off to meeting attendees.

Don’t miss a chance to socialize with other dog guide users and enthusiasts. Our next general meeting, which is our annual election meeting, will take place on April 21st.

Delta and United Service Animal Policy Change

Effective March 1, 2018, both Delta and United changed their policies on service and emotional support animals. Both airlines required shot records and other documentation be uploaded yearly. In addition, users must check in 48 hours prior to their flights.

As a result, both The Seeing Eye and Guide Dog Foundation have pushed back, stating the 48 hour check-in requirement is discriminatory, not allowing service dog users to check in with their families or friends. If you wish to comment on these changes, please call Delta at 404-209-3434 or United at 1-800-228-2744.

Next Meeting, April 21st

Mark your calendars now for our upcoming annual meeting. In addition to voting for president, vice-president, secretary and treasurer, we will explore (to be filled in when speaker determined). You must have attended at least two meetings last year to vote in this election. (Info on speaker.)

Our next meeting will take place on April 21, 2018 at the Red Blazer opens in a new window Restaurant in Concord, NH. Mark your calendars now so you won’t miss it. Watch for topic details and menu selection information on our list serve. If you are not on our list, please contact Carol Holmes, DGUNH President, at 603-434-6042.

Mollie's Story

Mollie, a black lab, sitting patiently in harness Hi! My name is Mollie and I am a Seeing Eye® dog.

I was born at the breeding facilities of the Seeing Eye in NJ on November 1, 2008. I guess that makes me a Jersey girl. There were 2 girls and 6 boys in our litter. Both girls were black while all the boys were tan. As is the tradition at the Seeing Eye, all puppies in a litter are named with the same first letter. As you can guess, our letter was “M.” There was Mitch, Milo, Mo and of course me, Mollie, to name a few.

I spent the first 7 weeks of my life at the breeding facility with my mom and siblings, although during the last week we spent more and more time apart. Then one day, I found myself riding in the back seat of a car, sitting on the lap of a 22 year old girl while her parents drove us to my new home. First stop, the extremely large fenced back yard, which I immediately Christened with my digested breakfast.

This family, known as puppy raisers, provided me with a home for the next 16 months. Initially, I learned basic manners, like not going on the furniture, coming when called, remaining calm and of course, the all-important toilet training. As I grew older, I was introduced to public situations, like crowds, busses, stores, learning to ignore people and other dogs, etc.

Every two weeks we would get together with other puppy raiser families and their dogs to work with seeing Eye staff to check on our progress, learn puppy raising skills and to discuss how things were going. I loved to see the other dogs. Sadly, some dogs were removed from the program due to health or temperament issues.

At age 18 months, I returned to the Seeing Eye to complete my training. It was sad to leave my puppy raising family behind, but I quickly bonded with my new trainer named Chris. He taught me all the skills I would need to be a Seeing Eye dog. After four months of intensive guide dog training, I passed my exam and was paired with Rick in august 2010. Sadly, four of my siblings never made the cut. For the next four weeks, Rick and I trained together. Rick was as new at being a guide dog owner as I was to being a guide dog. Initially, we made lots of mistakes together (Rick more than me, I’m sure) but eventually, we both graduated and it was time to fly off to my new home. Although this was my first time on a plane, the practice seats at my school prepared me and I knew just what to do when we got on the plane. I just curled up under the seat in front of Rick. I love to fly. Rick and I have been to 28 states and four countries in our short time together. Later this year, Rick and I will travel to Texas, upping my total to 29.

Mollie playing Frisbee with 2 other dogsYou may think that I have a rough life since you only see me when I’m working. But when I get home and the harness comes off, I get to act like a normal dog. I have to canine companions at home, a 15 year old Welsh Pembroke Corgi, and a 5 year old English Springer Spaniel. Besides playing tug-or-war with a rope toy, our favorite game to play is to see who can deposit the most amount of fur on the floors between vacuuming.

I only have one pet peeve (get it, PET peeve?) which is when people talk to me or try to pet me when I am working. You would think it was obvious; when my harness is on, I am working. Even if I am sitting still, waiting for my next command from Rick, if my harness is on, I am working. I know that I am hard to ignore, with my saucer like molten chocolate eyes and my coffee table clearing tail wag, but you’re a lot smarter than I am, and if I can be trained to ignore you, then you should be able to ignore me. After all, my job is to keep Rick safe and any interference by you can compromise that.

Mollie sleeping, her head on top of a  Springer Spaniel puppy, also sleepingWell, it’s time for me to go back to work, or maybe I'll take a nap, so like Tigger says, TTFN, Ta Ta For Now!

Do’s and Don’ts of Dog Guide Etiquette

Do's:

Don’ts: