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.