CCI, SEGD, or New Horizons?

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Not here yet
Barked: Sun Feb 26, '12 6:10pm PST 
First off hello, I'm new here!

Graduation is quickly approaching and I am just one year away from fulfilling a dream I've had since the age of four. Ever since my aunt told me of the wonderful program of puppy raising I have been hooked. To say that I know more than your average joe about service dogs would be a slight understatement, I'm a little obsessed.

Anyways, I have to get through my freshman year of college before I can start raising my first puppy, parents rules. That would mean I will hopefully have my SDiT in the summer of 2013. I am aware of the amendment to the law that should be going into affect in July that will allow service dog trainers to bring their pups onto campus which will be a tremendous help to me. Before I knew of this amendment, the disability director of my soon-to-be college stated that she believed I might not be able to due to allergies. Which I wasn't sure if at the time that applied to SDiT's anyways.

So with that issue past I now have to decide which school I would like to raise for. I was hooked on Southeastern Guide Dogs for a while but I have been comtemplating lately.

I will be going to school in Orlando, which happens to be close to SEGD's, CCI, and New Horizons headquarters. Which gives me several options. I live an extremely active lifestyle and plan to bring my puppy everywhere with me. SEGD's seems to have a more strict set of rules as I have heard from a few raisers from the organization, such as they are not allowed in theme parks. That is something that is leading me towards the other programs since Orlando has several theme parks and I plan to go to them often.

Any help or guidance from those who have raised for these organizations would be very much appreciated! Thank you all very much! big hug

Sorry for the novel I just wrote! wink

Barked: Sun Feb 26, '12 7:03pm PST 
Hey there, I raised guide dog pups all throughout college (and had raised in high school and have raised since college!), although I was in the northeast. The first piece of advice I have for you is: DON'T plan on taking your pup everywhere! Pups are all so different and while you might get one that can handle things just fine, you also might get one that can't go "everywhere" with you. When you're raising, the pup is the center of your world so if you want to go to a theme park but if your pup isn't ready (and most pups won't be until about, oh, just an average, but about 10 months or so), you can't go.

The pup doesn't fit into your life; your life completely changes because of the pup. It's like having a baby in college; there's a reason there are few single moms (or dads) going to school full-time! To be a good raiser, your life will COMPLETELY change. Not saying this to scare you, just want to let you know! There was another college raiser at my school who didn't realize the extent of this and ended up having to transfer the dog because she just didn't realize what it would be like.

Another piece of advice: take really really easy classes the first semester you have your pup. Literally plan your schedule around your dog because your GPA will go down!

I don't mean to scare you; you just need to know that if you do this right, your life is going to COMPLETELY change. I just wish I had known this before getting my first college pup! I had raised all throughout high school so I had loads of experience and even still there were days during my first college pup that I would just sit in my room with my pup and cry and cry and cry because I just couldn't manage everything. Doing school well plus doing the pup well. I wish I had know just how hard it would be. One thing I would recommend is to puppy-sit for a young pup in your chosen program this spring, DURING THE WEEK, for a full week (none of this "I'll do it on a weekend when I have no work and can devote 24hrs/day to the pup" business, because that's not how it works in real life!). That will give you an idea of what it is really like.

I don't have personal experience with Southeastern, CCI, or New Horizons, but I would definitely not turn away from Southeastern just because the pup can't go to theme parks. It's not about where you can take a puppy; raising is about growing a confident, obedient, socialized dog. I don't say this to be mean, but I think you may need to shift your thinking from where YOU can take your pup to what places will be good for your pup to be exposed to for the PUP'S development. Big difference, and you won't know until you get your pup since, like I said, all pups are way different.

I really don't mean to discourage you! For me raising in college was completely worth it. I never was partier anyway, so spending my Friday and Saturday nights with the pup never seemed like a sacrifice.

Anyway, I've written my own little novel here. I have loads more to say on the subject, including a bunch more tips for raising in college, so PM me if you're interested! I promise this post contains the only scary things I have to say about college raising, but I do feel morally obligated to let prospective college raisers know just how different their lives will be. A pup doesn't fit into your life, you change your life to fit into the pup's. Let us know what you decide!

Not here yet
Barked: Sun Feb 26, '12 7:33pm PST 
Over at my sister's house and when she logged in I forgot to log out to go to my account! Haha! You must have been confused when Samson was writing that! It's all straightened out now. Although I can't say that won't happen again, I'm sort of air headed sometimes!

Thanks Nova!!

That was great advice that I needed to hear. It hasn't discouraged me but it's got my wheels turning. The theme park issue isn't a huge deal I was just putting it as an example. I suppose I was trying to avoid a huge essay so I left out some of the other things I wanted to say. The good thing about my college is that it's a private college so you pay a certain tuition and you can take as many or as little classes as you want. That will work to my advantage for the first semester with my puppy. Also I am hoping to start in the summer so I'll have a month or so to start some basic obedience and start forming a bond. While I live a busy life now it's completely due to my life revolving around my current dog, when I'm not at school I'm with him. Basically I'm not your average teenager.

Sorry used my sister's account!
Edited by author Sun Feb 26, '12 7:26pm PST


Not here yet
Barked: Sun Feb 26, '12 7:53pm PST 
My sister has a service dog, Samson, and I enjoy learning from her about all the things service dogs can do. I probably should tell people that so they won't be confused if I mention her.