Saturday, December 15, 2007

Sponsor a guide dog puppy!

If you have a pet lover and humanitarian on your Christmas list this year, why not sponsor a guide dog puppy in their name as a Christmas gift?Alberta Guide Dog Services (AGDS) is offering the chance to support a charitable organization and give a friend or relative the unique opportunity of watching little puppies change from lovable bundles of fur to full fledged working guide dogs.

"We were trying to think of what you can give that person who has everything, and what we came up with was kind of a virtual dog," said Susan Deike, the manager of development and communications with AGDS."This way you are putting money into something that really matters and helping those who really need it."For less than the cost of a cup of coffee a day, the recipient can learn more about the guide dog training process, while watching the transformation from puppy to fully trained guide dog.

At $250, the gift lasts almost two years and gives your loved one the opportunity to own a puppy and go through all of the pivotal steps as he or she grows without ever having to feed it or take it for a walk.

"It is just like having a dog in that you have a relationship with them," said Deike."Puppy raising in a 24/7 job and this way you don’t have to house train them, stay up all night, or worry about your couch being torn up."The recipient of your gift will receive a welcome pack that includes a framed photo of your sponsored puppy. As well as quarterly "pupdates" on how your puppy is progressing, issues of "Paw Prints" – the charity’s newsletter – and a photo of your sponsored guide dog graduating with his/her new blind or visually impaired partner some 22 months from now.In addition, you will receive a tax receipt for your support.

"You actually get updates from the puppies’ point of view, so they can let you know how they are doing with their foster parents," said Deike."It really starts to come together and become real when you get the letter from the person who receives the dog and you realize what you have done for someone you don’t even know with your gift."

Although it costs nearly $40,000 to graduate one guide dog, the value of a dog to a someone in need of their services is priceless.This year, spread some holiday cheer by supporting AGDS, an organization that breeds and trains guide dogs for blind and visually impaired people all over the province.

For more information on how to give the gift of independence to a visually impaired individual, call at Alberta Guide Dog Services at (403) 258-0819 or visit our website at Christmas, help AGDS live up to its slogan: "We cannot give the gift of sight, but with your help, we can give the gift of independence."


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