Lone Star Puppy Raisers Prepare Pups for Service
The Lone Star Puppy Raisers Club prepares canines to be trained as guide dogs for the blind. They contacted James Hawkins, a Garland firefighter, asking if they could bring their puppies for some sensitivity training. This is the second year our firefighters have participated in the program. Hawkins made all the necessary arrangements and on came the puppies! “There were no Dalmatians in this group of young Labrador Retrievers.”
The trainers are given dogs out of California as puppies and raise them for 14 months. They expose them to situations they might possibly encounter as service dogs. They take them to concerts, sporting events, high school pep rallies, anywhere there are loud distracting noises.
The group brought the dogs to a working Garland fire station. The Labs were aloud walk around the fire engines and firefighters with everything turned off and no gear on. The firefighters slowly started to turn on the equipment allowing the dogs to acclimate to the sounds and vibrations. The drill ended with all the lights and sirens blaring and firefighters in full turn out gear with air-packs on breathing like they would in a fire. The dogs were brought in and were hand fed to understand they were not being threatened. The men finally shut everything down and removed their gear with the pups close by them so they could understand there were people in the suits they could trust.
Lone Star Puppy Raisers Club has a fine program and the Garland firefighters are happy to assist them in the training process.