Golden Guide Dogs Leading the Way
Lots has been written about the benefits of Guide Dogs. But, the best one of all, is written all over their humans' faces. Persons with our Golden Guides enjoy walking (and working) with these special partners. Going through a crowd, they can now feel confident that their four-legged Golden Guide will help them find a safe route. And, they will warn them of dangers, like overhanging branches or potholes. Go meet Golden Guide Dogs Anna, Luke and Rebound and their human companions Christina Holtzclaw, Maia Santamaria and Tonia Claytonthrough, through our wonderful In the Eyes of the Beholder article and video.

The beginning lives of many of our Guide Dogs are owed to Puppy Raisers. Nancy Smith raises dogs, many of them Goldens, to become Guides for the visually impaired. This is one of her photos showing how she uses her trained dove adults to serve as a distraction while her Golden Guide Dog-in-Training is practicing a down/stay command.

Stephen Kuusisto, director of student services at Guiding Eyes for the Blind, has a puppy-raised Guide Dog. In his book, Planet of the Blind, Guide Dog Corky became his guiding eyes and changed his life forever. He pays his "greatest debt of gratitude" to the Burkett family of Fairfax, Virginia. They raised his guide dog and then they let her go. Listen to him as he shows how difficult that really is:


Each successful team has a family behind it who actually raised the dog. Imagine loving an animal for over a year and then one morning you get up and put it into a crate and drive it to the airport and send it to the guide dog school. And as you're driving home past the fast food restaurants and shopping malls, you're crying."

"This dog has been everywhere with you: gone to work with you, gone to the high school football game. Now what should you hope for? You're sitting at a stoplight, the tears streaming down your cheeks. You know there's a chance that the dog won't make it. Maybe this dog will come home again! Should you dare to hope for such a thing? Is it all right to think this — at least in private? Imagine that your minivan still has a blanket on the floor. The car still has some prized dog hair and a faint wet dog smell. It's okay to hope the dog comes home. Isn't it? . . ."

Here is a delightful video that details a Golden boy named Parker being raised to be a guide dog.

 

This is Golden Fargo, a SpokesPooch for Sun Sounds, an awesome, free radio reading service that is provided through a Community Outreach Program of Rio Salado College. Both intelligent and handsome, he is a lead dog that belongs to Cheri Meadors, one of Sun Sounds' listeners. Over 30,000 visually-impaired Arizonans rely on Sun Sounds to read to them.
A new Golden family
In November 2002, we met Toni & Ed Eames and saw them provide a talk to airport personnel on accommodating assistance dogs and their humans. I fell in love with their Goldens, Escort and Echo and saw just how proficient they were as they maneuvered better than I through the terminal. I was thrilled to learn that they loved the goodies (both food and toy) I brought for them. Actually, the gifts really came in handy as there were layovers at the various connecting flights that had to be made. The toy helped relieve boredom and the treats supplemented dinner as they had to stay in an airport hotel that night due to fog.

It was sad to learn in March 2004 that Ed and Toni's senior boys had experienced much sickness, and Escort sadly earned his Golden wings and left Toni's side. Echo was suffering the effects from a brain tumor and was retired to family member status. So, Ed and Toni have a new Golden boy, Latrell, and girl, Keebler, to guide their lives, as shown above. It can be extremely difficult when transitioning between partnerships, when beloved guide dog companions have left their humans' sides. This difficult issue is addressed in Rebecca's emotional piece, Dreaded Discussions. Learn lots more about our wonderful Guide Dogs through the following print, web and video resources.

Sadly, the Assistance Dog Movement has lost one of our greatest champions. IAADP's President, Co-founder, Ed Eames, Ph.D. passed away on October 25, 2009. Read more about his life here.
 

   Touching Tales  Learning More Special Legislation  Wonderful Video Clips
  Is that A Sightseeing Dog? How to act around a Guide Dog  Bella's Law  Considering a Guide Dog
  Swimming Was Her Passion! What Makes a Great Guide Dog  Layla's Law  Learning about Training
  Ivy Living with her Blindness Dogs that do not Qualify  Pavley Bill  K9 Buddy Program 
  Angel Eyes Puppy Raising Dogs that Retire    Michael Hingson Interview
  Story of Guide Dog Texan Guide Dog Schools Organizations  9/11's Path to Safety  
  Ask Abbie Advice Column  IAADP  Soul Mates 
  Print Resources Guiding Eyes Kids Corner  IGDF  What it's Like to Have a Guide Dog
  At A Glance Educational Guide    K9 Buddy Program  Wheelchair Training
  Guide Dog Books/Media
 
     
   



 
Want to see how tough it is to learn to walk with a Guide Dog? Check this out. This video was filmed at the Kennel Club Building in Stoneleigh Park. Richard Michael explains about the 'Guide Dog Experience'

Golden Retriever Jerry does a wonderful job, don't you think?


See Your Name In Braille      



TaleTell: Your own Stories of  Golden Guides
Meet some wonderful, hard-working 4-footed Guide Dogs. And, if you have a Golden Guide tale to tell, just send it along with photos to:
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