It’s Be Kind to Animals Week and who doesn’t love puppies? The breath. The bellies. The babies! When you visit Tampa, St. Petersburg or Clearwater Beach, Florida, with Global Discovery Vacations, you can play with puppies at Southeastern Guide Dogs—the only guide dog school to allow public interaction.
Located on a beautiful 35-acre campus in Palmetto, Florida, just south of Tampa is one of only ten accredited guide dog schools in the US and the only one in the south. You can help them socialize the puppies twice daily at Puppy Hugging sessions held five days per week. You’ll join up to 20 visitors in the puppy hugging room. The staff of Southeastern Guide Dogs will release the hounds and velvety bundles of energy to interact with you all.
Once you have gotten your fill of puppy love, you can then head over to the Training Kennel to check out one of the guide dogs-in-training to stroll around our gorgeous campus. As you walk the dogs, you give those dogs who aren’t training that day the chance to get out and about.
Reservations are required to join in the puppy hugging and a $5.00 admission is charged with all money going to fund this non-profit. Dog walking is free and does not require a reservation, but walkers must be at last 16 years old. Younger walkers can tag along, but someone 16 or older must be in control of the dog. Puppy hugging and walking can be done every day except Sunday and Thursday at 9:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. You can do both, just plan to hug puppies first!
The next time you’re visiting Florida with Global Discovery Vacations, consider loving on a guide dog in training. You’ll find Southeastern Guide Dogs at 4210 77th Street East, Palmetto, FL, 34221. You can make Puppy Hugging reservations at GuideDogs.org.
When was the last time you hugged a puppy? Share your favorite experiences in the comments below.
Photos courtesy of Southeastern Guide Dogs.