Brunei and puppy trainer Karrie Kinsella take a break outside the Sacramento International airport. Village Life photo by Noel Stack

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Brunei goes international … sort of

By From page A1 | June 26, 2013

Twelve puppies walked into Sacramento International Airport … and not one made a sound.

No, this isn’t a joke’s opening line. It’s the true tale of the El Dorado Second Sight Club’s adventure last month. Handlers let their Guide Dog trainees experience the airport’s sights and sounds, go up and down in the elevators and watch as baggage rode round and round.

Among the four-leggeds on the trip was Brunei, the five-month-old pup working with El Dorado Hills puppy trainer Karrie Kinsella. Village Life first met the yellow lab when she was 12-weeks-old. She has grown into a ver well-behaved lady.

“She is outstanding,” Kinsella said. “She’s more like a nine-month-old in her abilities.”

Brunei goes grocery shopping and walks behind the cart, she’s learning to leave price tags unchewed at the mall and has shown great strides in paying attention, according to Kinsella. At the airport, Brunei explored her first parking garage and navigated different, and sometimes slippery, surfaces. She stayed focused on Kinsella when riding the shuttle and didn’t mind the pat-down going through airport security.

In fact, all the dogs marched through the metal detectors like pros, even when the machines beeped because of the metal on their collars. They quietly rested at their handlers’ feet when airport security employee James Smith briefed the group on screening procedures, each pup receiving a scratch on the head for good behavior.

“There were no issues whatsoever,” Kinsella said of the airport trip. “She is a very good dog.”

Over the next few months, Brunei will have more new experiences. She’s going blueberry picking and will catch up with her litter mates at the Guide Dogs for the Blind’s upcoming Puppy Fun Day in San Rafael.

Her lessons on focus will continue. Kinsella said the puppy still wants to greet people, especially children, and she gets distracted by other dogs. A Guide Dog must stay focused on the task at all times; they can’t wander.

Village Life will catch up with Brunei in a few months to check on her progress. Knowing this smart girl, she’ll have it down in no time.

Interested in becoming a puppy raiser? Call 800-295-4050 or visit guidedogs.com.

Noel Stack

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