Puppies start purpose-filled lives

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Esther Short — A handful of special puppies were given new homes Jan. 12 at the "Read to a Guide Dog Puppy" event. Adults and children learned more about Guide Dogs for the Blind's puppy-raising program during the gathering at Vancouver Community Library. The afternoon featured activities and information for adults and kids interested in the training program. Volunteer families help raise puppies until they turn 15 months old, the age the dogs can enter training to become guide dogs. The helpers' job is to raise the young animals in a nurturing and well-rounded environment. The cost of training and veterinary care is covered by Guide Dogs for the Blind. At the Jan. 12 event, seven puppies were sent home with volunteer families new to the program. If you're interested in learning more about being a puppy-raiser, contact Guide Dogs for the Blind community field representative Deana Allen at 503-668-2171 or dallen@guidedogs.com.