There are currently three ways a dog can "graduate" from guide dog school.
Working Guidess - After 6 months or more of formal training, the dog is matched with a visually impaired partner. Up to 4 more weeks of training is done together on campus before the new team is presented at a graduation ceremony. Often times the puppy raiser has the opportunity to attend graduation and meet the new partner.
Breeder Dogs - After returning for formal training, those dogs still under breeder consideration are carefully observed by the trainers and the breeding department. Only the most exceptional dogs are chosen to join the breeding colony. These dogs are also presented at a graduation ceremony and will live with a foster family in between litters of puppies.
K-9 Buddies - This is a new program that matches a suitable dog with a blind child to provide companionship, increased social opportunities, love, and experience caring for a dog. If the child later chooses to be matched with a guide dog, he or she will already have experience with dogs.
Dogs not selected for one of these three jobs are said to be career changed. Career changed dogs go on to work as therapy, search and rescue, diabetic detection, hearing, or of course they can be pet dogs! Check out Boulder's wonderful career change dogs!
Athena is a female, mostly golden retriever being raised by CarolAnne and Cathy. Athena joined the group on January 13, 2012. Athena was born on 10-22-2011 to dog mom Pilar and dog dad Medford. Athena's brother, Andrew, has a blog complete with cute pictures.
Athena graduated and became a breeder. Her puppies Valiant and Versailles are being raised in the club too.
Vikram is a male, black labrador. He was born on March 5, 2013 to dog dad Jolt and dog mom Hestia. Vikram will be group raised by Emily, Matt,and Sheryl. Vikram graduated as a breeder. Vikram's littermate, Volt, was also raised in the club.
Vikram is a sweet, mild-mannered fellow.