Blue Kirkpatrick '18 is puppy sitting for Lyric, a future service dog from Guiding Eyes for the Blind. Lyric is living with Blue in Sterling Dorm for two weeks, until her full-time puppy raiser is available. As part of the training and socializing, Lyric accompanies Blue throughout the day. An important part of guide dog training is exposure to all kinds of different people and situations, of which there's no shortage at Marvelwood! Lyric has adjusted well to life at boarding school, and is showing herself to be calm, curious and focused, which are ideal traits for service dogs. After her time with Blue, who plans to study animal behavior at college, Lyric will be with her puppy raiser for 12-16 months, until she's ready for final training, when she will matched with a visually impaired person and begin providing life-changing service for that person.
Marvelwood has worked with Guiding Eyes for the Blind for many years. Throughout the school year, Science Department Chair Laurie Doss and student helpers host six to nine week old puppies for three to five days, providing socialization to new sights, sounds, and people. They also continue and reinforce simple aspects of the pups' training, including massage, leash walking, riding in cars, sitting for meals, crate time, name response, and other skills. Last year, Director of Marketing and Communications Caitlin Lynch P'13 was a puppy raiser for Bermuda (below, right), who was a frequent and welcome visitor around campus as part of her training.