Jan Williams, Puppy Raising Expert for Southeastern Guide Dogs

WMNF Bruelle-Jan (crop)

In a wonderful, wide-ranging interview with guest host Lee (Flee) Courtney, Jan Williams—Southeastern Guide Dogs’ Area Coordinator for Puppy Raisers in Tampa—discusses the enormous array of challenges and rewards involved with raising a puppy to become a guide dog for a visually-impaired individual.

timthumbShe explains the sorts of behavior and restraint the puppy raisers are expected to cultivate, including honing the dogs’ crucial ability to do their business anywhere, on any surface, on command—a skill, Williams notes, that takes on extra significance when the dog and the handler are traveling by airplane, laying over in airports before catching connecting flights., etc. Williams also addresses a whole host of other experiences the dog must be exposed to while with its puppy raiser, and must perform and react with perfection in that phase of the dog’s life, as well as the post-puppy phase where it undergoes very intense training to travel all the way through the process and become a guide dog.  Interestingly, she points out that these canine graduates also need to be sophisticated to occasionally do a situational override of that training—like at a street corner, the handler gives the command to cross, yet the dog recognizes a hazard the handler didn’t, and refuses to advance. She outlines the myriad virtues and satisfactions of being a puppy raiser—she’s raised several herself, and carried out the conversation with an aspiring Guide Dog, a yellow lab named Bruelle, at her feet.    (www.guidedogs.org  www.facebook.com/pages/Southeastern-Guide-Dogs/92490953062)

WMNF Bruelle-Jan-Lee (crop)

COMEDY CORNER: Tig Notaro’s “Shark Attack”   (http://tignation.com)

MUSIC: John Williams’ “Theme From Jaws,” Split Enz’s  “Shark Attack,” The Rolling Stones’  “The Spider & The Fly”

NAME THAT ANIMAL TUNE:  The Rolling Stones’ version of  “Little Red Rooster”

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About the author
Duncan Strauss is the producer-host of “Talking Animals,” which he launched at KUCI in California in 2003, combining his passions for animals, radio, journalism, music and comedy. The show has aired since late 2005 on Tampa’s WMNF. Strauss lives in Jupiter Farms, FL with his family, including four cats, two horses and one dog. He spends each day talking to those animals, and maintains they talk right back to him, an as yet unverified claim.

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