DETROIT - The U.S. Army Garrison - Detroit Arsenal Child Development Center has an exciting opportunity to raise a puppy for a year supporting the Leader Dogs for the Blind program. The puppy's name is Camie, and the goal is to raise her so that she will eventually become a service dog for a visually impaired person.

Through our Character Counts! Program, we help develop the core ethical values of trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship in our entire Child, Youth & School Services programs. Helping to raise a puppy for someone else in need is a valuable, concrete way to demonstrate these values in a simple way that the children can understand.

The training involves getting the puppy used to being in a work environment, and to ignore distractions. Much of her day will be spent in the assistant director's office in a crate. Outside of the crate, she will be on a leash. The puppy program is intended to help future Leader Dogs become used to different people, walking surfaces and situations. Any time the puppy's bandanna is on, she is expected to be "working" and ready for commands. We are allowed short periods of play without the bandanna.

Camie arrived at the Child Development Center Monday, February 2. She will be in training at the Center for 12 to 15 months. The entire CDC staff feels privileged to assist Leader Dogs for the Blind in their mission of preparing puppies to serve the visually impaired.