The Today show rolled out the red carpet – and fire hydrants! – on Wednesday, in honor of a special new cohost.
Guiding Eyes for the Blind has temporarily given the morning show a 10-week-old yellow Labrador retriever puppy to train as a guide dog.
“This is a really great experience both for Guiding Eyes and for the puppy,” said Saxon Eastman, a trainer for the non-profit organization, who gives guide dogs free of charge to individuals who are blind or visually impaired.
“This is going to be an awesome socialization experience for him. That’s really what we’re looking for, to put him on the right track to being a guide dog someday.”
When he’s not on set, the pup, who the show is calling a Puppy with a Purpose, will live with Eastman in Westchester County, New York, next door to the Guiding Eyes for the Blind training school.
This will be a learning experience for both canine and Today. Eastman has laid out specific rules for this guide-dog-in-training, like, don’t let the dog jump up on you – or the couch!
“The person he might eventually go to is not going to be able to see him necessarily, so we wouldn’t want him to jump up on him or her and hurt them,” she said. Also, giving the pooch any food from the floor, that’s a no-no (Heads up Hoda Kotb, we know your cockapoo Blake is a fan of that!).
But the first order of business on Wednesday was giving the pooch a name. Viewers can help choose it from a list of four, all beginning with W. Does Wrangler, Waldo, Wes, or William suit this cutie best? Click here to cast your vote!
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