May 20, 2024

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Michigan 4-H and Leader Dogs for the Blind celebrate the legacy of Nan Nellenbach with re-launch of 4-H Leader Dog Program

Michigan 4-H and Leader Dogs for the Blind celebrate the legacy of Nan Nellenbach with re-launch of 4-H Leader Dog Program

Michigan 4-H and Chief Puppies for the Blind will reignite their partnership with a kick-off celebration on March 9. As portion of the celebration, former Michigan 4-H volunteer Nan Nellenbach will be posthumously honored for her 40 year determination to the program.

Michigan 4-H is when once again partnering with Chief Canines for the Blind, an firm that pairs blind and visually impaired individuals with a company dog for secure and independent day by day vacation. By means of the Michigan 4-H canine task, 4-H family members can briefly house a dog prior to returning them to the method at 13 months aged. A formerly robust partnership, Michigan 4-H and Chief Pet dogs for the Blind will reignite their thriving collaboration with a kick-off party on March 9 at the Leader Pet dog campus in Rochester Hills. As aspect of the celebration, previous Michigan 4-H volunteer Nan Nellenbach will be posthumously honored for her 40-year motivation to the program. 

“We are so thrilled to rejuvenate the 4-H puppy dog system for Chief Dogs for the Blind,” stated Melissa Doubek, Nellenbach’s daughter. “My mother’s passion was raising canines for Chief Canine and marketing the 4-H pet system.”

Nan with dogs

Nellenbach’s curiosity in leader canines stemmed from her have father’s visual impairment, which resulted from a childhood incident. She grew up with a German Shepard and was continuously studying about pet dogs. In the long run, Nellenbach’s enjoy of puppies and need to support some others led the North Branch indigenous to utilize to increase puppies for the Leader Puppy for the Blind method. Nellenbach was last but not least offered the possibility to do so in 1976, by way of a partnership with Michigan Condition College Extension and Michigan 4-H and she hardly ever seemed back again. Throughout her many years with the application, Nellenbach lifted 50 puppies, a file variety for Leaders for the Blind and an achievement only reached by 1 other pup raiser.

Rising up with puppies in the home, Nellenbach’s 5 children have fond reminiscences of the program. Doubek could not recall a time in her childhood with out puppies.

“They were just a component of our lifetime and they ended up with us everywhere you go.”

Persons in their tiny town recognized the puppies as very well, referring to Nellenbach lovingly as the ‘dog woman.’ The family even marched in parades to market the software and expose the puppies to large crowds and sound.

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“Mom was an fantastic seamstress, so she sewed many dog costumes for us to put on during the parades,” Doubek recalled. “My family members vividly remembers putting on the scorching, sweaty dog costumes.”

Nellenbach’s unwavering enthusiasm and motivation to increasing future chief dogs taught her children numerous existence lessons, who had been prepared to aid in any way necessary. Families who train puppies in the chief puppy program elevate a pet from 6 months by 13 months outdated, when the puppies are returned to Rochester, Michigan to finish guideline doggy education. Doubek pointed out the emphasis of function, this means that you develop into hooked up to the pet dog, pour your heart and soul into the approach, and in the end, you hope that those people attempts lead to the dog’s success.

“You may well never ever fulfill the beneficiary of your attempts,” Doubek said. “That noble effort and hard work is not for recognition, but fairly the understanding that your work is going to support another person in have to have.”

In addition to puppy dog boosting, people can also host breeding canines, which Nellenbach took on in 1990.

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“Mom certainly experienced a personalized partnership with each puppy that was born in our household,” Doubek reported. “She would several occasions keep up all evening to help start the puppies and make absolutely sure that they had been in a position to nurse. Each puppy dog would acquire a exclusive title and she would minimize compact parts of fur, so she could continue to keep keep track of of the puppies by identify.”

Nevertheless Nan Nellenbach passed absent in 2017, her numerous contributions to Michigan 4-H and the Chief Puppies for the Blind Plan have continued to effect others. Of the 50 puppies she elevated, 49 became profitable chief puppies, empowering people who are blind or visually impaired with independence.

“Mom’s unselfish illustration of aiding individuals in have to have has still left a legacy of young children and grandchildren that all give back again in their have ways,” Doubek explained. “She was a humble female, who passionately followed her heart to lead her skills to these in have to have by the Chief Puppies puppy plan.”

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Individuals intrigued in subsequent Nellenbach’s illustration can find out much more about fostering a chief dog pup with Michigan 4-H at an informational assembly on March 9. Held both in particular person in Rochester Hills and on line, the application begins at 6 p.m. To sign up, be sure to stop by the MSU Extension situations site. Supplemental facts about the software can be uncovered on the Leader Puppy site or by getting in touch with Kristi Schreiber, 4-H companion animal speak to, at [email protected].

To study far more about volunteering with Michigan 4-H, check out the Become a 4-H Volunteer website. To learn additional about enrolling in 4-H, pay a visit to the Michigan 4-H site.

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