Local couple has raised 15 guide dogs

Animals and Wildlife

One local couple is doing their part to help people in need of guide dogs get the help they need.

“It’s just extremely rewarding and it’s just the kind of thing that’s extremely motivating.”

Jim and Val Hazlin have been raising puppies on a volunteer basis through nonprofit Guiding Eyes for the Blind. Together they’ve trained 15 pups, including 10-month-old Lexa currently. Most of them have graduated to have careers serving those in need.

“When people do this once they do it again,” said Hazlin, “between falling in love with it and thinking they’re going to do a better job with the next dog.”

Hazlin said raising puppies isn’t about intense training; it’s more about making sure they have a good time just being a puppy.

“We put a lot of effort into make sure they have very good manners,” said Hazlin, “we’re responsible for giving them lots of opportunity to socialize, build their confidence in public places so pretty much our dog goes with us everywhere we go.”

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