Guiding Eyes for the Blind – Erie Region

Paws & Read


Guiding Eyes for the Blind

Erie Region Newsletter


Fall 2005




Annual Puppy Party


The 2005 Puppy Party was held on August 20 at Mary Ellen & Barry Pratt’s home. Everyone had a fun workout on the agility course and lots of cold refreshments were on hand for the volunteers.  All the Puppy Raisers went home with a large bag of Iams, plus many prizes were given in the Bonus Bone drawing and the raffle.  The apparel in the GEB Boutique was on display and everyone “shopped til they dropped” at the Toys & Shop Store.  This made for a lot of wagging tails as new toys were given to the puppies.

Special thanks to Becky Barnes for stopping in to answer questions and provide insight into the ways a guide dog provides her with freedom and mobility. Also, many thanks to our hosts and to all those who contributed to the event.  This party provides a great socialization experience for our puppies and an opportunity for the volunteers to become better acquainted with each other.






This is a true story about adopted GEB puppy Isley.  Former Erie Region Puppy Raiser, Dr. David, who recently relocated to New England due to a job opportunity, submitted the story to our Area Coordinator. 

Isley and I take a nightly walk on hiking trails in a national forest, normally starting out at about 6:30 PM.  This particular evening, we started out a little early at 4 PM. After walking for a while, I suddenly realized that we were over 6 miles from home on an unfamiliar trail and it was very dark. It gets dark quickly in the mountains.  I also realized that I forgot my flashlight.

We were in trouble… lost in the forest with bears, coyotes and wolves on an unfamiliar trail without a flashlight. I couldn’t see my hand in front of my eyes.  I wondered if this is how a blind graduate feels.   My hands reached out for Isley as I told him that he had to follow our scent and get us back to the highway and home safely.  I foraged for a stick.  At times I had to crawl on the ground to feel if I was still on the trail.  Slowly we walked as Isley sniffed and I followed.  I tripped and fell several times but Isley waited patiently until I was ready to move on.  After several hours in total darkness, my faithful companion guided me safely to the road where we started.

This wonderful boy saved my life.  The wolves and coyotes could have killed Isley and possibly me.  We returned home at 9:34 PM and I was totally exhausted.  Isley may have decided not to be a guide dog but he has proven to be my special trail guide dog. I will never again forget my flashlight and I will forever be thankful for this faithful boy.       



Local Heroes

Comings & Goings of our Puppies


Best Wishes go out to the following dogs and their proud owners.  Congratulations for a job well done!

§          Gunner said good-bye to his raisers Gail & Doug and Mary Ellen & Barry.  Gunner is Doug & Gail’s 10th puppy and Mary Ellen & Barry’s 16th puppy.

§          Mabel gave Carole a big hug as she said good-bye.  She is Carole’s second puppy.

§          Archie said good-bye to Kathy & Ron.  Archie is their eighth puppy.    


Welcome to the newest members of our region:

§         Sassy was welcomed into the home of Barry & Mary Ellen.  She is their 18th puppy. 

§         Barbara welcomed Lila, her 1st puppy, into her home.

§         Sharon is raising her 2nd puppy Linus.

§         Milo received a warm welcome from Patricia.  Milo is Pat’s 1st puppy.

§         Tonya welcomed her first puppy Zed.




Happy 1st Birthday



Puppy’s Name















Special Thanks


A very special thanks to everyone from our Area Coordinator, Mary Ellen Pratt and our Puppy Evaluator, Robin Brooks for everyone’s continued team effort especially during this period of re-construction at the Training School.  Your cooperation as In-For-Training (IFT) dates are moved forward is especially appreciated.                      




Inner Strength


If you can start the day without caffeine,

If you can always be cheerful, ignoring aches and pains,

If you can resist complaining and telling others about your troubles,

If you can eat the same food every day and be grateful for it,

If you can accept drinking only water and be happy about it,

If you can understand when your loved ones are too busy to give you any time,

If you can take criticism and blame without resentment,

If you can willingly help a disabled friend with their limitations,

If you can resist treating a rich friend better than a poor friend,

If you can conquer tension and sleep peacefully,

…Then you are a dog.




Web Wise


The GEB Patterson facility is now officially the Canine Development Center, formerly called the Breeding Center.  To reflect this change the BCWeb became the CDCWeb.  The new address is cdc.guidingeyes.org. If you normally save log in information, you need to enter and save the new address.  Also, the “www. at the beginning of the address is no longer necessary but using it will not prevent you from reaching the website.


Have you logged on to our region’s web site recently?  The current list of apparel available in the GEB Boutique and newly added toys in Paws & Shop is on the site.  The site is updated weekly with new puppy pictures and more….



Puppy Jeopardy


Want to win a Bonus Bone?  Below is the Puppy Jeopardy answer in the Health Care category.  The first class participant to provide the correct question at the next class wrap-up earns a Bonus Bone.  Good Luck! 


Normal temperature range for a dog


Visit us at www.guidingeyes-erie.org