STEVENSVILLE — Just in time for Christmas, six Guiding Eyes for the Blind pups (Gary, Sama, Greer, Empire, Betty and Grant) were transported by Pilots to the Rescue — a nonprofit, volunteer-driven, 501c3 public benefit aviation organization — from Guiding Eyes in New York to the Bay Bridge Airport on the Eastern Shore of Maryland to meet their volunteer puppy raisers for the first time.

The puppy raisers were from the Bay, Delmarva and Montgomery Regions of Guiding Eyes for the Blind. It was a windy, blustery day but the weather could not dampen the excitement of pups, raisers and the flight crew. The new partnership between Guiding Eyes for the Blind and Pilots to the Rescue will assist in the transportation of pups between Guiding Eyes’ New York headquarters and the many puppy raising regions.

Guiding Eyes for the Blind is a nonprofit organization that trains guide dogs for blind and visually impaired people. Before the puppies are sent off to train and work as full-time service animals, volunteer puppy raisers take care of them. Puppy raisers provide more than just a loving home; Guiding Eyes matches the puppies with responsible volunteers who work hard to raise them into well-socialized young adult dogs ready for full training.

Black lab pup, Grant, is being raised by Catherine Langston, an 11th grader at Saints Peter and Paul. Grant is the third Guiding Eyes pup raised by Catherine and the Langston family of Sherwood.

“Change your life and the life of another,” said Catherine’s father, Jeff Langston. “What better reward than to receive the unconditional love of a puppy and then, ultimately, to give the gift of loving freedom and companionship to a person who has lost their sight. The experience of puppy raising has changed our lives . . . from the confidence and responsibility we saw building in our children, to the simple moments of joy during our daily routines. Let a Grant change your life!”

To learn more about raising a Guiding Eyes for the Blind pup, email Delmarvaregion@guidingeyes.net or visit www.guidingeyes.org to submit an application.

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