Who are you and where are you from?

My name is Alison Ardern and I’m from Lismore, County Waterford.

Ezra as a tiny puppy

How long have you been Puppy Raising?

We began our first puppy raising experience as a family in May of 2018.  Along with my husband and four children we have the amazing Ezra who turned 1 on March the 12th this year.

Growing up we always had dogs as part of our family and my late father always wanted to puppy raise but didn’t get the chance to.  I decided to look into the idea and discussed it with my family as I knew that we would all have to be on board to make it a success.

Tell us about your Puppy Raising Experience?

Our time with Ezra has been an extraordinary journey and we have received great support from our puppy raising supervisor Catherine.   The only downside was knowing that she would eventually have to leave us, but we were armed with the knowledge that to reach her potential she was going have to go to ‘big school’ and onto bigger and better things.

What is your favourite part of Puppy Raising?

The best thing about puppy raising is being part of the community that is Irish Guide Dogs.  We have really enjoyed meeting Ezras siblings at Puppy Raising classes and comparing notes about similar little quirks within the E-litter of which there was another 12!

I even got the chance to meet Ezra’s mother which was like coming full circle from the first time we expressed our interest in becoming a puppy raiser and saw the photograph of the E-litter with the brood bitch Nora and her family.  We look forward to following her progress through her training and have our fingers crossed that she goes on to become a Guide Dog for a vision impaired person or an Assistance Dog to help a family of a child with autism.

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