When it comes to raising Seeing Eye puppies, twins Jon and Kaitlyn Carey of Hawley say it all started with their younger sister, Jenny.

Jenny, 15, “thought it would be a good project to try,” said Kaitlyn.


When it comes to raising Seeing Eye puppies, twins Jon and Kaitlyn Carey of Hawley say it all started with their younger sister, Jenny.

Jenny, 15, “thought it would be a good project to try,” said Kaitlyn.

Though the puppies became their senior project, the recent Honesdale High School graduates say it’s not the first time their family’s raised the helpful pups; in fact, it was their fifth and sixth, respectively.

Kaitlyn’s was a yellow lab named Radar; Jon’s a German shepherd named Conrad; both were just seven weeks-old.

“You have each dog for 16 to 18 months,” Kaitlyn said.

“You teach them basic obedience, house-break them,” said Jon.
Socialization is also high on the training list.

“Just taking them a bunch of different places, like grocery stores, church. When you raise them, you’re part of a 4-H Club,” Kaitlyn explained.

The Careys are part of the Pike County Paw Partners.

At the end of the 18 months, the Seeing Eye puppy placement person returns to retrieve the puppies.

The dogs undergo health screenings and get spayed or neutered before being matched up with a Seeing Eye trainer.

“They go through four months of intensive training with their Seeing Eye Trainer. Then, if they pass all of that, that’s when they get matched up with a blind person,” Kaitlyn explained.

Throughout the process, Seeing Eye provides monthly updates on dogs to the families who helped raise them.

How hard is it to give the pups up?

“It’s kind of hard, but you tell yourself from the beginning that it’s not going to be yours to keep. You have to keep that in mind,” Jon said. “It’s difficult when they go away at the end, but you know it’s for something good.”

Will they keep doing what they’re doing?

“Our next puppy’s on order,” said Kaitlyn.

“Our younger sister is going to raise the next one,” Jon said.

“There’s one puppy raiser, but it’s really a family experience,” Kaitlyn said.
What’s that feeling of knowing someone else might benefit from the dog you helped raise?

“You feel really good that you can be a small part of helping somebody ...You could change their whole life by giving them a guide dog and they could regain their independence,” Kaitlyn said.

All four of their previous dogs made it successfully through the program.
As to which dog they loved the best?

“I loved them all,” said Jon.