By John Lamb
For those of you who think guide
dogs grow on trees, allow us to make a suggestion for
your next book purchase Bright Eyes, by San
Diego County residents Sally Montrucchio and Ron
Shaw, is much more than a childrens book about
a special dog raised to help a sightless person by a
special young girl. Its a tribute to compassion and
neighborliness in an ever-hardening world.
the surface, Bright Eyes is the simply told,
touchingly illustrated story of a charming yellow
Labrador guide-dog puppy named Bandit as he develops from
an inquisitive, cat-chasing youth into a full-fledged
highly trained guide dog under the role-model tutelage of
his teenage "puppy raiser" Kendra and his
eventual sightless companion, Laura. As a story alone, Bright
Eyes serves as a valuable lesson in the
responsibilities of pet ownership and civic duty.
But Bright Eyes also
delivers a far deeper message one that cant
be repeated often enough:
SERVICE-DOG ORGANIZATIONS DESPERATELY NEED PUPPY
RAISERS -- AND YOU AS RESPONSIBLE PET OWNERS CAN HELP!!!!
off, buy the book. Proceeds from Bright Eyes help
finance the schools that train these highly demanded
service dogs. While only about 10 percent of
vision-impaired people use guide dogs, a two-year wait
for recipients still exists.
only does Bright Eyes take you step-by-step
through the evolution of a guide dog, this book also
treats the reader to some excellent pointers on raising
any puppy. In the back, it also lists guide-dogs schools
in the United States and Canada where prospective puppy
raisers may sign up or at least contribute.
who with his wife began raising guide dog puppies in 1988
and is now training his ninth dog for Guide Dogs of
America in Sylmar, CA, says he would like to see more
children have the opportunity to reap the rewards of
helping someone less fortunate than themselves.
wins," Shaw explains. "Through raising these
puppies, kids see what kind of long-lasting impact they
can have on someone elses life. The recipient
receives a round-the-clock companion, and the dog is
assured of a good home. We were in our 40s when we
learned about this program. "
who after researching service-dogs organizations for the
book found herself raising Pacific, an adorable yellow
Labrador retreiver for Canine Companions for Independence
of Oceanside, CA, couldnt agree more.
cant even begin the imagine the difference these
service dogs make in peoples lives,"
Montrucchio says. When people ask her how shell be
able to part with Pacific after 16 months when he moves
on to his companion in need, Montrucchio admits she will
miss him but remembers what another puppy raiser once
"The real act of love is
giving the dog to someone who needs it."
copyright 2006 Unleashed!