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Local teen trains guide dogs for the visually impaired

Posted: 7:55 PM, Mar 25, 2019
Updated: 2019-03-26 17:18:49Z
Sarah and Wailea
Sarah Picker and Wailea

BOISE, Idaho — Most teenagers spend their days on the computer or their smartphone, but seventeen-year-old Boise native, Sarah Picker, spends her's with a little golden retriever lab named Wailea.

Sarah has had the pup since it was 8-weeks-old, but will only have her for about a year. Wailea isn’t a regular dog; she’s a service dog in training. Sarah’s job is to prepare dog’s like Wailea for life as a guide dog for the blind.

She’s been raising dogs since she was 9-years-old and says, “through the years I’ve just gotten really more involved and just totally falling in love with it. It’s something I want to do for the rest of my life.”

It’s Sarah’s passion for her work and the difference she’s made for those in need that have earned her this year’s prestigious Prudential Spirit of Community Award. The award is the nation’s largest youth volunteer awards program honoring students in grades 5-12 for outstanding volunteer service.

After her time with Sarah, Wailea will head to the Guide Dogs for the Blind campus in Boring, Oregon to complete her training.

If you're interested in becoming a puppy raiser or would like more information about the position, click here .