Dog Adoption Application – Puppy Hugging

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Good news! There’s finally a way to get your daily dose of puppy love, even if you aren’t able to have one of your own. So now you can submit your Dog Adoption Application-Puppy Hugging. You don’t own the dog, but in a way, it is your dog.

A guide-dog school in Palmetto, Fla. has instituted a program that allows the public to help socialize its pups by letting dog lovers shower them with displays of affection. They also have very nice retriever pups and older dogs for adoption.

For five mornings each week, Southeastern Guide Dogs opens its doors to the public. “We call it Puppy Hugging,” says Southeastern Guide Dogs’ PR Specialist Jennifer Bement. “We basically invite anybody in the neighborhood to come into our puppy playroom and sit on the floor, and then we let one of our litters out into the room.”

Who wouldn’t like to spend an hour or two each morning hugging puppies that are six- to nine-weeks-old? Sure, the love-fest would probably be embarrassing if it ever ended up on YouTube, but heh, it’s for a good cause. It’s for training guide dogs and to support the adoption program.

“It great for their guide-dog training,” Bement tells Paw Nation, “It builds their confidence by getting the puppies used to different sights, smells, sounds and most importantly, different types of people.” So not only can you get all the commitment-free hugs you can handle, but you can feel all magnanimous afterward.

In fact, the puppies are highly therapeutic for the staff as well. According to Bement, “If we’re ever having a bad day, we go down to the puppy kennels and hug the puppies and everything is right with the world.”

So what if you wanna hug puppies, but you don’t live in Southern Florida? According to Jennifer, “There are 12 guide-dog schools in the United States and I believe we’re the only one that offers a puppy-hugging type program.” However, most guide-dog schools have what are called “puppy raisers.” In fact, Southeastern Guide Dogs has volunteer puppy raisers all over the Southeastern United States.

These raisers take in guide-dog puppies during their socialization phase and are responsible for basic obedience training, as well as exposing them to all the environments that a visually-impaired owner may wish to go. “That includes parks, movie theaters, shopping malls, you name it,” Bement tells Paw Nation.

As you might imagine, these puppy-hugging sessions are well attended by a wide range of dog lovers. “Yesterday a mother and her 18-month-old daughter came in to hug the puppies. Last week, a group from an assisted living facility came to visit the puppies, almost like a therapy session,” says Bement. So one thing is sure: if you adopt one of their retrievers, you can be sure they are trained very well!