Sunday Special: Guide Dogs for the Blind Gala Luncheon

So, as I mentioned last week, Autumn and I were invited to the Guide Dogs for the Blind holiday festivities. (It’s one of the fringe benefits of hosting a dog blog. Also invited were people from ‘Dogster‘, ‘Bay Woof‘, and many other fine groups.) Guide Dogs for the Blind is one of the larger guide dog training organizations in the US, and also one of the niftier ones. (You’ll hear more about why I say that next Sunday.) If you’re looking for a dog-related charity to give to for the holidays, they are a great candidate. (Although I would also encourage you to give to your local food bank: especially with the looming cuts in food stamps and unemployment benefits, there are going to be a lot of people needing food out there in January…)

Anyway, I’m gong to post some pictures from the meet-and-greet before the gala today, and then some pictures from the luncheon and the speakers and afterward next Sunday.

Young Guide Dog Trainee Black Labrador Retriever

A lot of the attendees were guide dog fosterers and trainers, and their charges. It was almost eerie, being surrounded by so many WELL-BEHAVED dogs.

Black Labrador Retriever With A Jester's Collar

Many of the dogs, both working and training, were dressed in their holiday finery.

Black Labrador Retriever Guide Dog Trainee in a Santa Hat

If you see a dog’s head tilted in one of the pictures, there’s around a 90% chance it’s because I used my squeaky toy to get their attention. I love it when they do that.

Man With Black Labrador Retriever Guide Dog Playing Celtic Harp

This gentleman, a music history instructor (professor?) at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, was a recipient of one of the organization’s dogs, and wanted to give back, so he volunteered to play some music at the event. Celtic harp music, a favorite of Autumn’s and mine.

Six-Week-Old Golden Retriever Puppy With Green Bow On Her Collar

Of course, the six-week-old puppies were the stars of the show. Especially the golden retrievers. Softest fur ever.

Six-Week-Old Golden Retriever Puppy With Ridiculous Puppy Belly

If she had held that pup out any longer I would have grabbed it and run. DO WANT!

Golden Retriever Guide Dog in Training and Trainer

My hat is off to the foster families and trainers. I don’t know if I could give up a dog like that after I raised her from a puppy.

Stuffed Plush Guide Dog Puppies With Coats

The itty bitty guide dog committee.

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