Courtesy Natural Balance Inc.
08/31/2011 at 05:00 PM EDT
Not every dog has what it takes to be a guide dog. Good manners and a desire to please are both required for the job
. Put actress Eva LaRue's dogs, Bingo, a schnoodle, and bulldog Frank to the test, and she knows they would receive a giant D for "denied."
"They don't even know what it takes to be regular house dogs," she jokes. "They are crazy and they run us ragged."
The loveable pair keeps LaRue very busy, but this month the CSI
star is making time for guide dogs. Along with her costar Omar Miller, LaRue is a spokesperson for PETCO's National Guide Dog Month
fundraising campaign. She's urging people to donate throughout September at PETCO stores online
and nationwide, or wherever Natural Balance Pet Foods are sold, to help training charities that supply these dogs to blind or visually-impaired people.
LaRue's interest in the cause actually started on the set of her show. "Omar told me about it and how it changes the recipients lives for the better," she tells PEOPLE. "I really wanted to learn more and get involved."
Having never been in contact with guide dogs before, she's decided to learn more about their world. "I am about to go through guide dog training," she says, "and I am really excited to work with them."
Formal guide dog training
takes patience and time – up to three months, in fact. Leading a person in a straight line, avoiding obstacles and stopping for changes in elevation (such as street curbs) are all things these clever pups learn during the intense process.
What are the chances LaRue can apply the skills she learns to her own dynamic duo? Slim to none. "They take this 1-ft. rope and the play tug of war with it for hours in the backyard," she says. "They sound like they are killing each other but they are just having fun, and it is hysterical."