Meet Cody – Starting All Over Again

March 26, 2013 — 9 Comments

Yesterday afternoon, we gained a new member of our family.  Meet Cody.  He is a 7 week old lab/retriever cross-breed, and he is being raised to be a Seeing Eye guide dog.

Isaac will be raising and training Cody for about a year until he goes back to The Seeing Eye in Morristown, NJ for more formal training.  And we’ve already begun the process of praying that he passes and praying for his eventual companion person.

Obviously, we don’t know how it will turn out (as I shared in yesterday’s post – RePurposed).  Based on our last two experiences in the puppy raising program, we understand that it could be a challenge.  But we’ve come to realize that it’s worth it.  It’s worth starting all over again on the road to raising Cody and helping a blind person in need of his canine eyes.  It’s worth the interrupted schedules, the hours of training, and the sadness of separation at the end of the puppy raising period.  It’s worth it, because it has the ability to change someone’s life.

When have you faced a challenge that was worth repeating?  When have you faced a challenge that had the power to change someone’s life?

Jon Stolpe


Christ-follower, husband, dad, engineer, manager, runner, blogger, sax player, group life fan, freelance writer, and the list goes on...
  • David Paul Stolpe

    Very cute. Good work Isaac.

    To answer your question I guess daily in my work. My role as an educator has always been to work with the one sheep who has left the flock, the problem kids who aren’t making it in the mainstream classroom environment. My students are all hurting in one way or another and many have done some horrific things. In my last school I even had a few who went on and committed murder. But each day I set out to find these wondering sheep and bring them back to the flock. Build them up, love them, show them they have worth so they begin to valid themselves enough to invest in themselves by engaging in learning.

    • Jon Stolpe

      I’m sure that is challenging most days.

  • TNeal

    First of all, Ellen has wanted to go to Morristown, New Jersey ever since she was a kid. She had read about the seeing-eye-dog-training school there. She came close during college on a trip to New York City, but no one would go with her.

    Second, your puppy looks a lot like our golden at that age. After almost 2 years and a lot of puppy wildness, Penny’s a wonderful companion. I’d find it difficult to say goodbye to her.

    Third, getting around to your actual question, after 6-1/2 years absence, I’ve returned to serving as a pastor. That return to a challenge happened in January. I’ve gone from serving one church three times to serving 3 churches at once.

    • Jon Stolpe

      Ellen (and you) should definitely visit The Seeing Eye. The campus is absolutely beautiful.

      I’m sure it will be a challenge to say goodbye to Cody, but it is part of the process. We have to keep the end in mind.

  • Carol Peterson

    How precious. And the puppy’s cute, too.

    I love that God created critters that can help humans; and that he made humans that help critters help other humans. Good luck on the puppy raising. I’ll try to remember to regularly pray for the process and the companion person.

    • Jon Stolpe

      Thanks, Carol. We are trying to do the same. As I stated in TNeal below, it helps to have the end in mind – and praying is part of that.

  • David

    You know, when we see service dogs, whether they are seeing eye, hearing ear or some other type of assistance pet, I think we are unaware of just how much work goes into their preparation. I know a young lady who has an assistance dog named Leaf – she has epilepsy and after Leaf’s training she had to train with him for about 3 months! Thanks for what you do, I know God will bless your family’s work and sacrifice.

    • Jon Stolpe

      Yes, David. We need to keep reminding ourselves of this. My son woke up this morning pretty sleepy after a shortened sleep with the dog last night. The tiredness will pass away in a few weeks as the dog learns to sleep through the night. And the rewards of helping someone in need will be more than worth the lack of sleep.

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