Jaymin goes to dog college


Jaymin, the ubiquitous and adorable yellow lab who has been at Mammoth resident Leigh Gaasch’s side for more than a year, is leaving for college.

A “Puppy in Training,” Jaymin was recalled to the Guide Dogs for the Blind campus in San Rafael to begin her formal guide work training.

Around town, Jaymin, who wore a green bib with a “Puppy in Training” vest, was socialized in many restaurants and retail establishments, community and sporting events by Gaasch and other members of the local puppy raising club, Eastern Sierra Guide Puppies.

At one recent town government event, Gaasch rose to speak from the podium and handed Jaymin over to the care of Police Chief Dan Watson, who was caught a bit unaware.

But unlike others who have been leashed, so to speak, by the chief, Jaymin was a gem. Watson just shrugged and waited for Gaasch to finish her comments, at which point Jaymin obediently returned and sat at her feet.

Guide Dogs for the Blind uses yellow and black Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers and Lab/Golden crosses as guides.

The puppies are born at the Guide Dog kennels in San Rafael and placed in the homes of volunteer puppy raisers when they are eight to 10 weeks old.

Following the completion of the training, the dogs are matched with blind students enrolled at the school before venturing on as full-time Guide Dogs.

The local puppy-raising club is looking for individuals and families who are interested in raising a puppy, or becoming short-term puppysitters. For more information, please contact Betsy Thomsen at 760-920-8891.