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Agutaya 04-28-2007 11:02 AM

I am organizing a fundraising cruise out of Galveston, Texas next year to benefit the Guide Dogs of Texas. Im learning a lot about cruising with guide dogs. If anyone is interested I can share some of the information. We hope to have at least 3 guide dog teams and several staff members of the GDTx staff. Were all getting excited even though its 8 months til we cruise.

Am I allowed to give information here so people could join us and raise money for the visually impaired? GDTx will get $50 for each cabin we book.

Dave 04-28-2007 11:20 AM

Forum rules prohibit advertising or soliciting. We currently have one exception - and that is for our own forum member cruise.

Agutaya 04-28-2007 02:17 PM

Oh well, had to try.

Still, if anyone needs info on crusing with guide dogs I'd be willing to share.

BTW I really appreciate all the info I glean from this forum. We went on our first cruise last January and got lots of helpful info before we went that made the cruise better. We're hooked now!

Dave 04-28-2007 02:43 PM

Thanks for understanding. If we allowed everyone to post cruise offers we'd soon be overwhelmed - even if for charity.

In all my cruises I've only seen one guide dog - a beautiful Golden Retriever a couple of years ago. We had a chocolate Lab for years. Very intelligent. I can see why so many guide dogs are from those two breeds.

Agutaya 04-28-2007 04:31 PM

Yes, the dogs are very smart. The first guide dog puppy we raised was a golden retriever-lab mix. She's now a guide dog near Miami. We just finished raising a full lab and are now raising a labradoodle puppy which is asleep at my feet. Very rewarding (and at times tiring work. Guide dogs are allowed on but, apparently, not guide dogs in training so we'll need a puppy sitter in January.

RC has been very good at helping those traveling with service animals. They will have an orientation for the guide dog teams before other passengers board. They'll create a potty area on some deck in an out of the way place with wood chips or sod. I'm working on getting permission for the guide dogs to disembark at Grand Cayman and Cozumel. They are not allowed onto Jamaica. I'm getting written permission that they will have no problem with them being on the ship. As I understand it for example, if a person books a trip from L.A. to Hawaii they wouldn't be allowed to board in L.A. because Hawaii doesn't even allow dogs to be on the ships. Also, it's good we are going to G.C. before Cozumel as G.C. wouldn't have allowed the dogs off there if they had gotten off in Mexico. We're still also working on obtaining requirements from G.C. and Mexico.

The dogs have to have an international health certificate which is only good for a short time. So a form has to be filled out by a vet shortly before the cruise as it is only good for so long and is needed for the dogs to be allowed back into the U.S. After the vet the form has to be sent to a govt. office (presumably in Austin but I'm still working on that) for approval, then back to the vet and then back to the dog owner. It will be trickly timing but very much worth it for the guide dog teams.

Dave 04-28-2007 04:37 PM

I wondered about the potty area. I assumed they had pads or something in the person's cabin, but now that seems such a stupid assumption on my part! It was an RCI ship where we saw the dog - it had to be either the Mariner or the Freedom.

LisaP 04-28-2007 07:15 PM

There was an article on this topic in Cruise Travel Magazine a few years ago. It profiled a passenger who had taken several cruises with her guide dog. I know a few people who sailed with them at one time.

Berick1234 04-29-2007 11:17 AM

What a Doggone wonderful idea.....The dogs will love it and I'm sure their owners will too...
Happy Cruising...


Agutaya 04-29-2007 04:01 PM

Thanks, Bob. It's great to see the independence these dogs give to their owners.

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