Guess who's seven years old?

December 7, 2016 • Posted in blindness, guide dogs, Seeing Eye dogs, Uncategorized, Whitney by

My Seeing Eye dog Whitney had a birthday yesterday. While reminiscing about our years together, I came across the Puppy Profile the 16-year-old who raised Whitney wrote about her as a puppy. 

She's lucky 7.

She’s lucky 7.

Seeing Eye puppies are born and bred at the Seeing Eye breeding station in New Jersey. When they are six weeks old, they go to live with a volunteer for a year. Puppy raisers give the dogs affection, teach them basic obedience, and expose them to social situations they might encounter as Seeing Eye dogs.

When these wonderful, generous, selfless volunteers return the dog they raised to The Seeing Eye campus for formal training, they’re asked to write up a Puppy Profile to give to the blind person who is eventually matched with the sweet puppy they raised.

Today, in honor of Whitney’s birthday, I am sharing Whitney’s Puppy Profile with you, our loyal Safe & Sound blog readers. Those of you who have had the honor of meeting Whitney will see that many of her childhood behaviors endure — I take her youthful attitude as a sign she’ll be around for a long, long time to come.

Puppy Profile

Whitney was raised in rural New Jersey by myself ( I am a 16 year old girl) my sister, parents and my grandmother. We live in a large house that sits on almost two acres of land. She could access a lot of the property and we also took her for walks in the woods every chance we got.

Whitney had a very strong relationship with our 2 year old Golden Retriever and they were best buddies right from the start. Whitney also wanted to be friends with the cat in the beginning but the cat was not into that. It took a while but they did become friends after some time.

We were able to take Whitney to most places we went. She especially loved gatherings of friends or family because she loves attention. She has also been to the movies, the mall, the post office, of course Petco, because it is where the pets go, club meetings and the county fair.

Whitney loved to chew her Nylabone and of course loved plush toys but would ALWAYS destroy those. She is a very bright dog and was extremely obedient. When given the command to lay down, sometimes she would aggressively go right to the ground, others she would do a bunch of circles before going down with a grunt. She doesn’t like to have her head pet but loves to be scratched on the chest and rubbed under her jaw.

Whitney has always been impressively smart. We have had many dogs but none as smart as her. When you ask her a question she will actually look at you as if she is pondering an answer.

When she needs to go out to the bathroom she sits quietly by the door until someone notices her, if that doesn’t happen she will start to whine as if to say, I need to go out! She will always park on command and will even squat if she doesn’t actually need to pee.

Happy birthday, Whitney, and many, many thanks to you, Whitney’s teenage puppy raiser. How can it be that you’re a 22-year-old young woman now? Whitney hasn’t aged a bit!

Pam Berman On December 7, 2016 at 12:50 am

Such a sweet post Beth. Our dog guides are amazing — it’s no wonder, as they start out being raised by such amazing devoted people, like Whitney’s puppy raiser.

bethfinke On December 7, 2016 at 9:34 am

I’ll say! Those puppy raisers are our heroes.


Leone Anderson On December 7, 2016 at 12:45 pm

A warm thanks to all puppy raisers – and Happy Birthday, Whitney!

bethfinke On December 8, 2016 at 10:07 am

Cheers to puppy raisers — such generosity of spirit.

Bev On December 7, 2016 at 4:40 pm

Thanks to all the puppy raisers. You do amazing work. Happy birthday, Whitney!

bethfinke On December 8, 2016 at 10:08 am

Puppy raisers rock. And the note from the 16-year-old is so genuine. I love it.

Annelore On December 7, 2016 at 6:13 pm

Beth, I just love that photo of Whitney – she really is listening! What a dog!

nbollero On December 7, 2016 at 10:21 pm

Happy Birthday Whitney! What a great photo. That face!

bethfinke On December 8, 2016 at 10:10 am

Thanks, Annelore and nbolero — all photo credit goes to Michael Knezovich.

taraisarockstar On December 8, 2016 at 11:18 am

Such a sweet profile! And such a sweet personality. Happy birthday, Whitney!

bethfinke On December 8, 2016 at 11:23 am

Well, you might not think she’s so “sweet” when she’s tearing up the squeaky stuffed animals she gets as gifts, but…


Benita Black On December 8, 2016 at 3:48 pm

Happy Birthday, Whit! And may heaven protect the working girl!

bethfinke On December 11, 2016 at 2:09 pm

Which one? The 22-year-old former puppy raiser? Whitney? Or me?!


Deborah Darsie On December 23, 2016 at 11:55 pm

All three, of course!

bethfinke On December 24, 2016 at 12:20 pm

Of course!


Laura On December 8, 2016 at 4:48 pm

Happy birthday Whitney (one day late!)!

bethfinke On December 11, 2016 at 2:09 pm

No apologies for being late — she celebrates the entire month.


Nancy Lerman On December 8, 2016 at 6:05 pm

My birthday is the 5th so I’m almost Whit’s birthday twin. I knew ther was magic between us! Happy Belated Birthday to my beloved Soul Sister. You and Beth are the best!

bethfinke On December 11, 2016 at 2:10 pm

Puppy love!


readingwithrhythm On December 8, 2016 at 6:25 pm

As a puppy raiser, reading all these comments touches my heart. Those puppy profiles are always difficult to write. How much to say? When to stop? Knowing that this is basically a good-bye letter to part of your heart. It’s nice to know when your pup is placed where they are happy and loved and doing the job they were meant to do.
Thank you Beth! and thanks to all you guide dog users! And Happy Day to Whitney!!

bethfinke On December 11, 2016 at 2:11 pm

Thank you, readingwithrhythm!


Deborah Darsie On December 23, 2016 at 11:59 pm

Happy Birthday Whitney, I am glad to know you get to stretch out your celebration. I do that too!

Your puppy raiser rocked!

I have made a photo book of each of my fostered dogs who were placed with a client. It gives them a glimpse of their first 18-20 months with a bit of commentary.

bethfinke On December 24, 2016 at 12:21 pm

What a coincidence: I stretch out my birthday, too! Your photo books are such a thoughtful gift, I bet the people who adopt the dogs love looking through them. Thanks for the good wishes for Whitney’s birthday, Deborah –I’ll pass them on to her.


Leave a Response