Paws and Claws; Everything about pets

This is Autumn the Seeing Eye Black Lab. Photo taken by Thomas Gray.

This is Autumn the Seeing Eye Black Lab. Photo taken by Thomas Gray.

This is Autumn the Seeing Eye black lab. Photo taken by Thomas Gray.

This week’s pet is a black lab named Autumn. Autumn isn’t just any black lab, she is a seeing eye dog. Her owner is Thomas Gray, and she is the seeing eye dog of his mom. They have had Autumn for two years now.

 Seeing eye dogs aren’t born ready to help people. They have to go through training. There are special training facilities that are made for dogs who are going to be future seeing eye dogs. The puppies start training at seven and eight weeks old. Sometimes a family keeps a puppy to raise and train it, and then it finishes training at the Seeing Eye school. At home training includes learning to behave and not eating table scraps.

“My mom had to go to California to get Autumn and stayed there for a month with her for the rest of her training,” Gray said.

Seeing eye dogs need the regular care that other dogs do. Autumn gets fed twice every day because they eat a lot. The seeing eye dogs need to be kept in tip top shape though. That requires exercise and no table scraps. The dogs also need to be extremely well behaved. The dogs have the huge responsibility of a person’s life, so they can’t be easily distracted. They don’t whine for things, beg, they have to walk properly and learn to obey their owners commands.

When at home, Autumn is a normal family dog. She still does some normal dog things.

“Whenever she runs sometimes she drags her butt on the ground,” Gray said.

In public the dog attracts attention. Sometimes they cannot be distracted, other times they’re allowed to interact with other people.

“Autumn doesn’t disobey very often. Whenever she’s in the car, she isn’t anxious. When we are in public people ask to pet her,” Gray said.

Seeing eye dogs are a very helpful thing to have in today’s society. They provide a lot of help and are great companions for the handicapped.