This week’s Arlington Pet of the Week is Fauna, who’s training to be a service dog.
Fauna frequents the Village at Shirlington, Pacers 5K races and enjoys the occasional trip to the beach. Here’s more about her:
Please meet Fauna, a Guiding Eyes For The Blind “puppy with a purpose.” Last April, volunteer puppy raisers John and Kayla were matched with this petite 10 week old yellow lab puppy who couldn’t be cuter if she tried. Over the past year, Fauna has been taught basic obedience and house manners, and socialized in a variety of environments. Service dogs in training must learn to work around different people, places and distractions. She accompanies her raisers in stores, restaurants, offices, and even commutes on the Metro. Fauna is often seen training around Shirlington while working on her dog distractions. She especially enjoys her weekly training class where she learns new skills alongside the other puppies in our region.
But it hasn’t been all work and no play for Fauna. She loves to jog, hike, swim, fetch, tug, chew and cuddle with her raisers. She’s currently plowing through a bucket list of local outings, including a Nats game, a beach weekend in Ocean City, a Pacers 5K race, a Wolf Trap concert, the National Zoo, and much more. In between her daily training and play sessions, Fauna has helped to foster several rescue cats for Homeward Trails Animal Rescue. She would love to find a forever home for her boyfriend Sylvester (https://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/34854789).
Fauna is now 16 months old and getting ready for her big test in July that will determine which working career she is best suited for. She could be selected for formal guide dog training, the breeding colony, or an alternative career such as a detection or autism companion dog. But if she decides that she just misses her family too much, Fauna will be adopted by her raisers and serve as a surrogate mom for their new Guiding Eyes puppy in August.
Founded in 1954 and headquartered in Yorktown Heights, NY, Guiding Eyes for the Blind (www.guidingeyes.org) is an internationally accredited nonprofit guide dog school that has provided thousands of blind and visually impaired people with specially bred and trained dogs at no cost that grant them dignity, freedom and greater independence.
Want your pet to be considered for the Arlington Pet of the Week? Email [email protected] with a 2-3 paragraph bio and at least 3-4 horizontally-oriented photos of your pet. Please don’t send vertical photos, they don’t fit in our photo galleries!
Each week’s winner receives a sample of dog or cat treats from our sponsor, Becky’s Pet Care, along with $100 in Becky’s Bucks. Becky’s Pet Care is the winner six consecutive Angie’s List Super Service Awards, the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters’ 2013 Business of the Year and a proud supporter of the Arlington County Pawsitively Prepared Campaign.
Becky’s Pet Care provides professional dog walking and pet sitting in Arlington and all of Northern Virginia, as well as PetPrep training courses for Pet Care, CPR and emergency preparedness.