Gwen Reimann, leader of “Diamonds in the Ruff” puppy raisers of Los Angeles County for Guide Dogs for the Blind, Inc., was the guest of honor at a Surprise Celebration on Saturday, November 6, 2010, in Sycamore Canyon Park in Diamond Bar, CA.
Gwen’s guide dog friends and raisers, past and current, contributed pages and photos to make a huge scrapbook of guide dog puppy memories. Known for her sunny disposition and out-going friendly personality, Gwen was thanked for her dedication, patience, guidance, encouragement and helpfulness by raisers and guide dog friends.
Born and raised in San Francisco, Gwen was introduced to Guide Dogs for the Blind by a childhood friend and family. Later when Gwen and her husband Jack moved San Rafael within walking distance of the campus, it was just natural that she would volunteer. Of course like most campus volunteers she yearned for the coveted job of puppy tester! But there was a long waiting list because there was (and still is) rarely an opening, which occurs only upon the relocation or death of a volunteer. In the meantime Gwen accepted any job they gave her including stuffing envelopes. She was around so much and got to know everyone and all the stories that one day in a pinch she gave her the first of many guided tours. Finally she was rewarded with that special job of puppy testing.
Later it was a sad day when she announced to Guide Dogs that her husband was being transferred to Los Angeles and she couldn’t volunteer for them anymore.
Then she learned that she could still volunteer for Guide Dogs while in Los Angeles but under the auspices of 4-H who were responsible for the youth raisers who raised the GDB pups in their homes. When Jack and Gwen settled in Diamond Bar in 1970, Gwen contacted Connie Henry of Los Angeles puppy raisers and volunteered. She also met the puppy station wagon when it came down to deliver the pups to the raisers. Later she was asked to be a leader of Pomona Valley 4-H puppy raisers. For a long time the group was affectionately known as “Gwen’s Group” which met in Diamond Bar. Then in the late 90’s the group adopted the name “Diamonds in the Ruff” suggested by Dan Wheeler.
2010 marks Gwen’s 40th anniversary of volunteering for 4-H in Los Angeles County and near 50 years for Guide Dogs for the Blind, Inc.