BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) – Reggio is on its way to becoming a functioning guide dog!
Berkley Bryan is a volunteer Puppy rearing for the guide dog foundation.
Bryan helps train Black Labrador / Golden Retriever Mix Reggio. Their journey together began on July 12, 2020.
“As a puppy breeder, I play a vital role in Reggio’s development as a future service dog by caring for, teaching, and socializing with whatever he can see or experience as a guide dog,” said Bryan.
Over the next several months, Reggio will be called back to headquarters in Smithtown, New York to complete its formal guide dog training for the blind or partially sighted.
“There is a beautiful saying: ‘The heart of a puppy raker beats in every guide dog.’ But I can also promise you that his paw print will be engraved on my heart too, ”said Bryan. “People keep asking me, ‘How do you let them go?’ Well there is no easy answer. From the moment Reggio was in my arms, I could feel that he was going to be special. He had that look in his eyes that said to me, ‘I’m going to make you very proud one day.’ And that’s exactly what he did every day. Now that we are at the end of our journey together, I can’t help but be proud of all the work we’ve done and look forward to the incredible gift it will be for someone. “
Reggio accompanies Bryan to work every day.
“Outside of puppy rearing, I work as an Associate Advisor at The Welch Group. The Welch Group has been extremely supportive of this unique way of giving back and welcomed Reggio as a member of the team. The support and heart of the Welch Group for charity continue to play a major role in Reggio’s success as a future guide dog. “
“Reggio turns 16 months this month and is ready for formal training at headquarters. Until he is called, Reggio and I will soak up the rest of this wonderful trip together, ”Bryan continued. “Reggio has always been meant for a greater purpose than being my darling. He loves to work, loves to please and I know that being a service dog is the right way for him. “
Thank you Berkley and Reggio for all of your hard work!
The Blind Dog Foundation for the Blind is a 501c (3) charitable foundation based in Smithtown, New York, and is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. The Guide Dog Foundation provides blind or visually impaired people free of charge guide dogs and free training. It costs over $ 50,000 to breed, raise, train, and place one Assistance dog; however, all of the Foundation’s services are provided free of charge to the individual. Funding comes from the generosity of individuals, companies, foundations, and nonprofits.
Bryan says the Guide Dog Foundation always relies on volunteer puppy rearing and donations. For more information on how to raise or donate puppies, visit their website.
The month of September is National Guide Dog Month.
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