Guiding Eyes for the Blind – Erie Region

Guiding Eyes for the Blind

Erie Region Newsletter


Fall 2007



Holiday Hazards


You’ve decked the halls, wrapped packages and shopped till you dropped.  But have you done everything to protect your puppy from potential holiday hazards?  To make sure the holidays are happy and safe for your puppy, follow these simple tips.


·          Keep your puppy from toppling the tree by securing the tree to a wall or ceiling with sturdy fishing line. 

·          Make tree water, which can harbor dangerous bacteria and chemicals, a no-drinking zone by covering the tree stand reservoir with a tree skirt or aluminum foil.

·          Pick up pine needles, which can injure your puppy’s intestines if ingested, and tape down electrical cords.

·          Skip the tinsel on the tree.  This time honored holiday decoration has long been a no-no for puppies.  If swallowed, tinsel can cause choking or intestinal blockages and tears.

·          Keep your puppy away from wrapping supplies since eating ribbon, bows, paper and cellophane can lead to intestinal blockages and choking. 

·          Before placing a wrapped gift under the tree, ask the gift giver if the package contains food. Keep in mind it may contain dangerous food tempting to a puppy.  

·          After opening gifts, set aside small items or stow them away.  Small toy pieces and balls can cause choking and intestinal blockages.

·          Many holiday foods can cause illnesses ranging from vomiting and diarrhea to pancreatitis.  Even a well-mannered puppy can be tempted by all the holiday treats placed conveniently for guests on coffee tables or serving trays at the level of a puppy’s nose.  Some guests may be tempted to slip a treat to your puppy, so ask guests to refrain from feeding your puppy. Placing your puppy in a crate, located in a quiet room, during party time may be a viable alternative. 

·          Play it safe and keep candles out of paw’s and tail’s reach.

·          Some of the most popular living symbols of the holidays are toxic to puppies and can cause symptoms from gastrointestinal irritation to diarrhea to cardiac problems, even death.  Plants to avoid include Christmas cactus, holly, lilies, mistletoe, poinsettia, hemlock and ivy.  Keep these plants out of reach and immediately pick up fallen leaves, stems and berries.

·          Be sure to close and secure doors and gates after guests arrive or leave. 

·          Busy and erratic schedules, steady streams of guests and changes to your home, like rearranging furniture to accommodate a tree, can stress out even the mellowest puppy.  Limit stress by maintaining regular exercise and feeding schedules.  Provide a quiet place for a crate where the puppy can get away from all the activity.


More holiday tips are available on the Erie Region web site.  After logging onto the site, click on Paws & Read.




Happy 1st Birthday


The following puppies and raisers are celebrating! 

·          Angie, born on 9/24/06, celebrated her birthday with many hugs from Cecilia.

·          Renae had a party for her puppy Chico who was born on 9/26/06.

·          Mr. Handsome, Dodger, celebrated his big day with his raisers Jon and Marla.  He arrived in the world on 10/6/06.

·          Howie, born on 10/11/06, celebrated his birthday with his raiser Sara

·          Island was the guest of honor at a party hosted by her raiser Laura.  She was born on 10/17/06.





Scrub a Dub


It may be convenient to share your shampoo with your puppy, but it’s not the best thing for your puppy.  Human shampoo, which is pH-balanced for people but not puppies, can dry out and damage the coat and skin.  The resulting itchiness, aside from making her miserable, can cause scratching and chewing their skin to the point of irritating and abrading it.  This sets the stage for secondary bacterial or yeast infections. 


Most puppies don’t need many baths as long as they don’t play in the mud or roll in something stinky. The number of baths should not exceed two per month, unless otherwise instructed. Regular brushing keeps the coat and skin healthy and odor-free.  When you bathe your puppy, place cotton balls in the puppy’s ears to keep them dry.  Use the smallest amount of shampoo needed to lather well.  Rinse well using a spray nozzle, if possible, making certain that you’ve removed all the shampoo.  Leftover shampoo residue will dull the coat and make them itch. Remove cotton balls from the ears after bathing.


A bath is highly recommended for all females at the end of their Heat.







Local Heroes - Comings & Goings of our Puppies


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

§          Katie said good-bye to her 2nd puppy Walden.

§          Yardley gave lots of hugs and kisses to his raiser Barbara.  He is her 2nd puppy.

§          Barkley, Sue’s 2nd puppy, said good-bye to his raiser.


                    Welcome to the newest members of our region:

§          Elsie is joining the home of Dawn. Elsie is her 1st puppy.

§          Gable, Darlene’s 1st puppy, was welcomed with lots of hugs and kisses.

§          Mary Ellen and Barry welcomed Imogene, their 20th puppy.

§          Danny is joining the home of Katie.  Danny is her 3rd puppy.




Puppy le Peu


Having a close encounter of the black-and-white kind is no fun for you or your puppy. Skunks belong to the weasel family and possess one of that family’s key characteristics - scent glands.  Skunks are nocturnal by nature.  It’s common to see them at dusk when they first start foraging. They dig up grubs, leaving little funnel shaped holes in the lawn or garden.  Some of their favorite menu items include trash, dropped fruit from trees and nuts.  The skunk is at home in brush piles, open irrigation pipes, sheds and under porches.


Basically shy, the skunk may discharge their scent when disturbed, cornered or harassed.  Unless surprised suddenly, a skunk will give warning signals before it sprays.  These signals include: arched back, stamping front feet and shuffling backwards.  The skunk will raise its tail and bend its body into a U-shape before it sprays. The skunk has the ability to direct the musk spray by alternating the direction of the protractile glands.  The fluid can be expelled a distance of 8 to 15 feet. 


As a precaution, check your yard at dusk; eliminate the food sources and habitats that would attract them to the area around your home.  The best defense is to make your home an undesirable area for the skunk so you don’t meet and greet. But, sometimes bad things happen to good puppies and careful raisers.  If your puppy gets sprayed, contact your Area Coordinator immediately.  A puppy sprayed in the face can have serious eye problems.  As for the odor, a recipe for skunk shampoo can be found on the Erie Region web site.  After logging onto the site, click on Paws & Read.




Upcoming Events


Please stop by to lend your support at these events! However, unless you and your puppy are

scheduled to work at an event, please refrain from bringing your puppy with you.


                   11/04/07     Puppy Pre-Placement Class - St. Catherine’s of Sienna, West Seneca, 1-4 PM  

                   11/08/07    Waynesville Lions Club - informational & educational presentation

                   11/11//07    Puppy Pre-Placement Class - Lake Shore Fire Hall, Hamburg, 1-4 PM                  

                   11/14/07     Lancaster Women’s Civic Club - Municipal Building - informational & educational presentation

                   11/18/07     Puppy Pre-Placement Class - St. Catherine’s of Sienna, West Seneca, 1-4 PM

                   11/19/07     Puppy Pre-Placement Orientation - West Seneca East Senior High School, 7PM

                   11/25/07     Puppy Pre-Placement Class - Lake Shore Fire Hall, Hamburg, 1-4 PM

                   12/03/07     Holiday Party - West Seneca East Senior High School, pictures with Santa


Contact Russ or Mary Ellen with any Public Relations Events or Speaker’s Bureau requests.



e’ll be beaming in no time.





Web Wise


The CDC web site has a fresh new look.  Information about Puppy Raising and cute puppy pictures are available in a new format. Check it out at cdc.guidingeyes.org.




Puppy Jeopardy


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


An illness caused by eating rich, fatty foods.  Symptoms include listlessness, excessive panting,

scratching, swelling, constipation, difficulty breathing or an inability to rest comfortably