SAN ANTONIO – KSAT 12 is sponsoringÂ anotherÂ guide dog with the Guide Dogs of Texas in San Antonio. This year’s dog, Lily, is undergoing rigorous yearslong training to become a seeing guide dog for a visually impaired Texan.
Lily is now 4Â months old and goes on daily trips outside of the home in order to expose her to everyday experiences.Â One of her weekly outings includes trips to H-E-B.
âThey’ve got squeaky baskets, they’ve got crying kids, they have TVs that are playing movies,â Annette Hennesy said. âThose are all things I need to expose her to, in addition to all the smells.â
Hennesy is Lilyâs puppy raiser. She said it’s important to expose Lily to aspects of one’s everyday life little by little so she’ll be ready. State law supports that training.
Texas law allows for puppies in training to go inside stores with their vests so they can get used to those sounds crowds and smells. ButÂ itâs important not to overwhelm Lily.
Right now,Â Hennesy said sheÂ only takes Lily to places she knows she’ll be able to handle.
One thing âshe is not going to be able to handle for a long time is Costco on a Saturday morning,â HennesyÂ said. Â âThings like that are incredibly busy, loud and that’s pretty high level puppy raiser training.â
Another challenge for Lily — the delicious smells coming from the meat market and pet food section.
âThere are just amazing smells that smellÂ exactly like her dinner, so she is going to get really,Â really distracted,â Hennesy said. âSo we have to work up to that slowly.â
HennesyÂ said big busy trips like that will most likely happen in a year and she is confident Lily will get to that level because Lily is highly motivated by her rewards for good behavior:Â treats.
âShe does get treats regularly when she’s in places where she is training. So that, in addition to getting lots of attention, lots of cuddles, lots of meeting new people,Â we are going to break out the treats a lot more than we would at home,â Hennesy said.Â
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