Jared Feingold is training his new puppy Gelato. And she's learning some special tricks. Gelato will one day be a guide dog, helping someone's who's blind navigate the world.
"She has to be perfectly on my side not paying attention to anyone on the street," he said.
Jared is a puppy raiser for Guiding Eyes For the Blind, a non-profit organization that pairs about 170 dogs a year with the visually impaired. And they are looking for more volunteers to raise puppies.
"Raisers teach basic obedience and house manners and they socialize the puppies," said Michelle Brier.
They also help train the puppies to be calm and even tempered.
Guiding Eyes is funded by private and corporate donations. They pay for equipment and veterinary care. But raising a puppy requires time and commitment.
After spending 14 to 16 months there, the puppies go to the training center in Westchester for 6 months of formal training.
Then the dog is paired with someone like Arthur Krieck.
Arthur is legally blind, the result of a genetic condition. He recently found it harder it and harder to leave the house.
"I just couldn't navigate the streets but with Jillian she does it we do it we do it every day," he said.
She helps him get around, get his mail, and as a professional musician, she gives him the confidence to perform in new places.
For those who raise the special friends, the toughest part is saying goodbye.
So if you are inspired and want to help raise a guide dog puppy, check out the links below.
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