05 July 2013

Paws for Patriots

Just as I did over Memorial Day weekend, over the long July 4th weekend, I’m picking charities that assist vets and I’m very excited about the one I just found because it combines helping military veterans with another of my favorite things: dogs! Plus, there is a challenge currently going on where a generous patron will match all donations.

Southeastern Guide Dogs trains guide dogs for visually impaired individuals through its Paws for Independence program, but it has a special division, Paws for Patriots, that aids veterans in three ways: 

*They pair guide dogs with visually impaired veterans. 
*They take dogs that might not be right to serve as guide dogs and train them to be partner dogs for veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress. 
*They take therapy dogs into military hospitals to visit wounded warriors. 

Through all its programs, the Palmetto, Fla.-based Southeastern Guide Dogs has placed more than 2,700 dogs over the past 30 years. 

Southeastern Guide Dogs seems to have it down to a science: you can even sponsor and name a puppy. For the truly committed, you can raise a puppy, if you promise to “tickle and stretch it” from the start, but it must be horribly difficult to turn the pup over at 14 months for it to start its official training. 

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