Feature Photos

Raising a guide dog is like icing on a cupcake

By July 22, 2011

CUPCAKE'S FAMILIES —€” Angela and Jim Huong, standing left to right, along with their children Geoff and Grace Huang helped train Cupcake for her new owner Allison Depner, center seated. Courtesy photo

El Dorado Hills residents Grace and Angela Huang contributed time and love in raising a puppy for Guide Dogs for the Blind, and were proud to see their dog, Cupcake, graduate as a guide in a formal ceremony at the guide dog campus in San Rafael last month.

Once Cupcake was a grown puppy and she was returned to the guide dog campus for doggie college, Cupcake was ready to learn the tools of the trade. She discovered how to become not just a well-behaved, meticulously socialized dog, but a true professional. Cupcake was taught by skilled instructors to safely guide someone through the complexities of pedestrian travel. This training takes approximately two to three months.

Now Cupcake is embarking on the career for which she’s been preparing.

Guide dogs are smart — very smart! In addition to learning how to lead a person safely around obstacles, guide dogs are also trained in “intelligent disobedience.” If they are given an unsafe command, they are taught to not obey it (for example: refusing to step out into the street when there is oncoming traffic).  Guide dogs are also trained to have impeccable manners (for all those times they must visit places of public accommodation, such as restaurants, grocery stores and public transportation) and are capable of avoiding distractions (cats). In addition, all guide dogs possess an eagerness to please and a willingness to work. They perform their profession with enthusiasm!

Cupcake graduated with her human companion, Ms. Allison Depner. Both will be living in San Diego. Allison now refers to Cupcake as her “girlfriend.”

Cupcake was part of the “El Dorado County Second Sight – PAWS for the Blind,” a group always looking for puppy raisers and puppy sitters. If you are interested call 800-295-4050 or visit guidedogs.com.

Special to Village Life

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Discussion | 1 comment

  • TsongjyJuly 30, 2011 - 11:29 am

    Nice job, Grace and Angela! Only half and less of the chosen puppies could eventually become a guide dog for the blind. Wonderful Cupcake!

    Reply

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