Have you ever considered being a puppy foster parent? If you have free time and are looking for an incredibly rewarding challenge, you can support the charity Eyes on Four Paws by raising a puppy for a year until she/he is mature enough to go into full time guide dog training.
“The program for the socialization of future guide dogs is carried out entirely on a voluntary basis. Adoptive families have the difficult task of raising a healthy, well-behaved and happy dog that is not afraid of the intense urban environment, travels without problems in any type of transport and is manageable. During the entire period while the dog is in the foster family, weekly obedience training and socialisation events are held in various places in Sofia.”
Eyes on Four Paws really needs the support of these loving adoptive families who open their homes for one year and take care of these beautiful, clever dogs. Now, everyone will tell you that Labrador and Golden Retriever puppies are hard work, and that is so true. They need a lot of exercise, routine training and of course lots of love and attention! They will probably eat your shoes, or your glasses, or your tv remote control, or indeed anything they can get hold of. They will make you chase them around the house with your socks in their mouth and then give you the sweetest puppy dog eyes when you tell them they are naughty. And, they will pretend they are always hungry, starving in fact, no matter how much you feed them or how often. They will watch every move you make when food is being prepared or eaten and they will make you feel terribly guilty when you don’t share.
But that’s not the most difficult part of this adoption process, not at all. The person who takes on this challenge will face the most difficult part of it all one year later, when they’ve done all the hard work and raised an incredible dog who has become a part of their family, and they then have to say goodbye …
We have a Labrador, we’ve raised her from just 8 weeks old. For sure the toughest part was the first 6 months, but now she is the most wonderful, calm and loving 3 year old and I cannot imagine my life without her. I certainly cannot imagine how difficult it would have been to say goodbye to her after one year …
So, why am I saying this whilst encouraging you to support this amazing cause? Because I know there are many people out there who are strong enough to take on this challenge, people who will sacrifice themselves to support this great cause in their mission to give blind people in Bulgaria the freedom they are currently forced to live without. The freedom to leave the house safely, the freedom to have a guide by their side day and night to allow them to live and enjoy their life, and that freedom usually comes in the shape of a Labrador or Golden Retriever, fully trained and funded by the Eyes on Four Paws foundation.
“Eyes on Four Paws” Foundation is a full member of the European Federation of Guide Dog Schools for the Blind – EGDF, as well as the International Federation of Guide Dog Schools for the Blind – IGDF.
Membership in these 2 prestigious organizations is a guarantee of the quality of the service dogs we train.”