The Rogers City Lions Club, at their first January meeting, voted to again sponsor another Leader Dog in Training.
The club sponsored Anchor, a yellow lab trained by Ray Ziegler, during the past year. Anchor has made many appearances in town, visiting the schools, the Nautical Festival and various Lions activities. He has made quite an impression on the community, but it is now time for Anchor to return to the Leader Dog School for the Blind in Rochester Hills to begin the next phase of his training.
Anchor will spend a few weeks being a puppy and socializing with other dogs at the facility and then move on to an intensive training regimen to continue training for his life's work.
Upon the return of Anchor early this month, Ziegler will be given his new puppy for the year. Club members submitted names for the puppy that were placed on a ballot. The club, in order to give the children in the area as sense of involvement and ownership in the training of the animal, sent the ballots to the schools in Rogers City, Posen and Onaway. The children then voted on the name they like the best. The votes were tallied and the winning name is Tanker. .
The club seized the opportunity of naming the dog to help spread the awareness of Leader Dog, the challenges of those with physical impairments, and the needs of the Leader Dog facility in Rochester Hills. Many considerations go into the raising of a Leader Dog, housing, feeding, training, breeding, trainers, and career change opportunities.
This year Leader Dog will embark on a huge project of refurbishing the kennels for the dogs. The current kennels have proven to be outdated for the animals. The new kennels will allow for more socialization between the animals, air conditioning and "common area" where they can play and exercise.
The Lions club, and hopefully the community, eagerly awaits Tanker's first visit. School visits will be arranged in the near future for the official "meet and greet" opportunity.