Chris and Doris Christensen never miss an opportunity to teach someone about Guide Dogs of America. Chris is a retired principal, and Doris is a retired teacher who taught handicapped children the last several years of her career. Ever the teachers, these Partners in Trust are eager to tell people about GDA and why they chose to designate the school in their will.
For these retired educators, it is those early "teachers" of GDA's guide dogs--the puppy raisers--that ignite their interest and desire to give to the school. The Christensen's feel that it is important to acknowledge the dedication of these volunteers whenever possible.
"It's the people behind the scenes. They are the unsung heroes that socialize, raise, and care for the puppies-in-training and give them that early foundation," said Doris.
Giving a recent example, Doris shared an interaction the couple had at a car show. They saw a puppy raiser with her puppy-in-training and engaged another show participant in conversation. They explained that this is an important first step in a guide dog's career, and that the puppy raiser is responsible for socializing the puppy from an early age so that it can become a guide dog. It is through chance meetings like this that the couple finds teachable moments during which they can encourage others to learn more about the school and, perhaps, to do as they have.
For information about becoming a Partner in Trust, please contact Rhonda Bissell at 818-833-6432.