By John Lamb
those of you who think guide dogs grow on trees, allow us
to make a suggestion for your next book purchase Bright
Eyes, by San Diego County residents Sally
Montrucchio and Ron Shaw, is much more than a
childrens book about a special dog raised to help a
sightless person by a special young girl. Its a
tribute to compassion and neighborliness in an
the surface, Bright Eyes is the simply
told, touchingly illustrated story of a charming yellow
Labrador guide-dog puppy named Bandit as he develops from
an inquisitive, cat-chasing youth into a full-fledged
highly trained guide dog under the role-model tutelage of
his teenage "puppy raiser" Kendra and his
eventual sightless companion, Laura. As a story alone, Bright
Eyes serves as a valuable lesson in the
responsibilities of pet ownership and civic duty.
Bright Eyes also delivers a far deeper
message one that cant be repeated often
SERVICE-DOG ORGANIZATIONS DESPERATELY NEED PUPPY
RAISERS . . . . . AND YOU AS RESPONSIBLE PET OWNERS CAN
off, buy the book. Proceeds from Bright Eyes
help finance the schools that train these highly demanded
service dogs. While only about 10 percent of
vision-impaired people use guide dogs, a two-year wait
for recipients still exists.
only does Bright Eyes take you step-by-step
through the evolution of a guide dog, this book also
treats the reader to some excellent pointers on raising
any puppy. In the back, it also lists guide-dogs schools
in the United States and Canada where prospective puppy
raisers may sign up or at least contribute.
who with his wife began raising guide dog puppies in 1988
and is now training his ninth dog for Guide Dogs of
America in Sylmar, CA, says he would like to see more
children have the opportunity to reap the rewards of
helping someone less fortunate than themselves.
wins," Shaw explains. "Through raising these
puppies, kids see what kind of long-lasting impact they
can have on someone elses life. The recipient
receives a round-the-clock companion, and the dog is
assured of a good home. We were in our 40s when we
learned about this program. "
who after researching service-dogs organizations for the
book found herself raising Pacific, an adorable yellow
Labrador retreiver for Canine Companions for Independence
of Oceanside, CA, couldnt agree more.
cant even begin the imagine the difference these
service dogs make in peoples lives,"
Montrucchio says. When people ask her how shell be
able to part with Pacific after 16 months when he moves
on to his companion in need, Montrucchio admits she will
miss him but remembers what another puppy raiser once
real act of love is giving the dog to someone who needs
by the Lions Club of Encinitas as part of its
"Foster Independence" programs, Bright
Eyes may be purchased by sending $10 (plus $1.50
shipping & handling) to:
school districts have shown an interest in Bright
Eyes as an educational tool. Quantity orders of
the book (at wholesale prices) may be made by calling
never find a better gift that keeps on giving.
copyright 2006 Unleashed!