Drums, Luzerne County -- A 5-month-old German Shepherd named Connie obeyed voice commands from Kathy Orbin of Drums on Friday afternoon. Connie and a 5-month old Labrador, Golden Retriever mix named Eloise may seem like any pups learning a little obedience. But a closer look reveals these dogs are part of a program to help the blind. Since 2009, Orbin and her husband, Dave, have been helping socialize pups for the Morristown, New Jersey based organization, The Seeing Eye. "It's a lot of fun. It's a lot of work. It takes a good deal of time but it's very rewarding," said Mr. Orbin. Mrs. Orbin added, "It's great to have a puppy around all the time and especially one that you take with you everywhere you go."
One of several other dogs that the Orbins helped put through the paces as a pup is named Sally. Now 4-years-old, Sally recently gave birth to her third litter. This weekend, the cable channel Animal Planet is profiling Sally on its program "Too Cute". "Sally is a super dog and we were, we were very pleased with her when we knew that she was going to make it as a seeing eye dog and then even prouder when they said that she was going to be a breeder," said Mr. Orbin.
What makes Sally extra cute lately is that besides nursing the pups from her latest litter, she is also serving as a surrogate mom to three German Shepherd newborns that come from a litter of 12. "We never would have guessed that she could. I mean you don't know what the dogs are going to be like when they go back to The Seeing Eye," said Mrs. Orbin.
Now, with a national t-v audience hearing Sally's story this weekend, the Orbins couldn't be prouder of the dog that spent a little more than a year in their care. "She's doing this great work, going to have all these good puppies going out there to help keep the program going," said Mrs. Orbin.
Sally, The Seeing Eye breeding dog, can be seen Saturday night at 8 on Animal Planet's "Too Cute". The program will be rebroadcast Sunday at 9:00 and 11:00 p.m. You can learn more about The Seeing Eye and becoming a volunteer by logging onto www.papaws.org or www.seeingeye.org.
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