other counties and was responsible for starting the University of Delaware puppy club.
As The Seeing Eye’s need for puppy raisers grew, it became necessary to hire more staff members. In 1994, Dickson became manager of the Puppy Placement Department, which, along with Instruction & Training, is part of the Programs Department.
Today, The Seeing Eye’s Puppy Placement Department has six area coordinators, two part-time coordinators, a behavioral specialist and an administrative assistant. Dickson supervises these employees, assigns puppies to the families, reviews applications for the puppy-raiser scholarship program, conducts staff meetings and participates in club and 4-H activities. She was instrumental in starting Family Day, The Seeing Eye’s annual celebration of puppy raisers. “I am very busy,” laughed Dickson. “Lots of emails and phone calls. I continue to cover a puppy-raising territory in Bucks and Centre counties and the Penn State area in Pennsylvania,” areas that contain about 80 volunteer families.
As for the puppy raisers themselves, Dickson said, “The families that raise the puppies are so special. Every year, I read all the scholarship applications, and that is an education in itself, to see how busy these teens are and to find out what puppy raising and 4-H has meant to them. When I was diagnosed with cancer this year, I received such love and support from the families. I have a shopping bag full of cards.”
Like many people approaching retirement, Dickson anticipates the first week will be difficult, “especially without the email and ringing telephone.” But, she said, “I plan to be involved with my Bucks County club. I also plan to do a lot of sewing.”
In September, Peggy Gibbon, supervisor of apprentice training, was selected as the next Linda Feinne-Roth Manager of Puppy Placement. Kathy Daly, one of our Puppy Placement area coordinators, was promoted to assistant manager of Puppy Placement. Gibbon and Daly, along with area coordinators plus staff from the Training, Canine Genetics, and Canine Health Departments, will continue to focus on early puppy development and rapid intervention with