CENTRAL POINT, OR – Dogs for Better Lives (DBL) recently broke ground on its future Cynthia Perlman Puppy Sensory Park. The approximate 100’ x 100’ park will provide an invaluable introduction to a variety of surrounding environments throughout our puppies’ first year.Located just north of the Second Training Facility and south of the new 306-panel solar array, the Puppy Sensory Park will provide numerous pathways across its perimeter, including rock, bark, sand, grass, and a water feature, among other environments to explore and experience.
“The Cynthia Perlman Puppy Sensory Park gives us a unique opportunity to show our puppies at an early age what they will encounter on their journey to becoming future Assistance Dogs, explained Puppy Program Coordinator, Hannah Crane. “It’s so important that we provide the tools necessary for our puppies and raisers to succeed, and this Puppy Sensory Park is a big part of that.”
While the majority of dogs arriving on DBL’s southern Oregon campus are still rescued from shelters and acquired from purpose-bred organizations, the breeding program has been gaining steam. Earlier this week, one of DBL’s breeder dogs, Pepper, had a litter of seven Labrador retriever crosses that will eventually have an opportunity to experience the park with their volunteer raisers.
“As the saying goes, we only get one chance to make a good first impression,” stated Dog Acquisition Manager, Grace Mitchell. “This is especially meaningful for our puppies as they experience the world for the first time. Thanks to the Puppy Sensory Park, we can make this first experience a positive one and therefore shape confident and reliable future Assistance Dogs.”
Of course, the Cynthia Perlman Puppy Sensory Park would not have been possible without the generosity of local and national philanthropic support, including Richard Perlman, Laura J. Niles Foundation, and the Carrico Family Foundation. Richard Perlman and his late wife Cynthia had a long-time love of and compassion for dogs, highlighting why they wished to support this project.“This project is very special to me for a couple of reasons,” stated Richard Perlman. “DBL was one of the organizations which Cynthia always made certain we contributed to, and I wanted to do something to honor her blessed life and that would make her proud. She loved dogs, as do I, and we both agreed with the Will Rogers quote, ‘If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.’ She was completely accurate in her feelings that it does not get any better than doing something good for dogs who ultimately are vitally significant to the well-being of those people who need service dogs. The Puppy Sensory Park will be invaluable to the puppies DBL raises, as it will expose them to all types of scents, sounds, and textures in a comprehensive way to prepare them for their important work as service dogs.”
The Puppy Sensory Park is expected to be completed by late spring and a ribbon-cutting ceremony is being planned. Though, given the COVID-19 pandemic, DBL is currently exploring the idea of a virtual ribbon-cutting ceremony via Facebook Live or Teams. Details are currently being worked out.
To learn more about how you can support DBL and/or become a Puppy Raiser, visit our website’s “Get Involved” section… https://dogsforbetterlives.org/get-involved/.
The 4-foot high fence has gone up around the 100′ x 100′ Puppy Sensory Park and various ground materials will begin to come in over the next several weeks. See video progress here.