Just don’t buy this store owner’s side of the story

Amazing that the folks at the restaurant could not tell Golden Retriever Lanie was a guide dog and that her person was visually impaired. (Hate that an ad has to run first before the clip.)

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Learn more about why I am not buying this store owner’s tail.

Meet Golden Boston … Retired Guide Dog to Therapy Dog

Bob Armstrong brings his old Golden Retriever Boston (his wife Debee’s retired Guide Dog) to the Kaiser Permanente hospital in Santa Clara, CA. Debee has a new Golden Guide Dog, but happily trains her Goldens so that when she needs to retire them from the work-intensive job as a Guide Dog, they can be transitioned into being just a loving member of the family as well as doing therapy dog visitation work.

Learn more about Boston’s Guide Dog days here.

Remembering a Gentle Man with a Golden Heart

Ed Eames and his wife, Toni, with Golden guide dogs, Latrell & Keebler

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. It is hard to believe that it has been seven years since meeting Ed and his lovely wife, Toni. Although Toni has been blind since birth, Ed lost his sight at age 42. He very much relied on Toni’s skills and access, and along with her deep love for him, this allowed him to flourish in his second, non-sighted life.

An adjunct professor at CA State University-Fresno, Ed spent his career teaching and doing anthropology research at NY’s Baruch College and previously at Temple University. His doctorate was earned at Cornell University with his research based in India.

Ed obtained his initial guide dog from the Seeing Eye and met Toni in 1985 while writing his first book about the assistance dog field, A Guide to Guide Dog Schools. She joined him as wife and co-author of that project. Their second book, Partners in Independence: A Success Story of Dogs and the Disabled, was drawn from their award-winning column of the same name, published for ten years in Dog World Magazine.

Ed is the kind of person who has exemplified the adage, When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.And, it was Ed’s enormous heart and sweet manner and concern for others that endeared him to so many. It was simply impossible to resist this man’s charms once you met him. He just had that kind of effect on folks . . . . and dogs as well.

Ed was a true Golden Retriever lover and one knew that any Golden in the Eames household was one lucky dog. We all know how special our first entry into the Golden world can be, and Ed’s relationship with Kirby, his first Golden Retriever guide dog, was quite unique. Here is Dr. Eames with his Kirby, a Golden who amazingly went on to earn an AKC Companion Dog Excellent title.

However, Kirby’s claim to fame occurred when bone cancer necessitated the amputation of his left front leg, yet did not keep him from continuing his guide dog work. The telling of this courageous story, Kirby, My Miracle Worker, earned Ed a Maxwell award from the Dog Writers Association of America.

Go to my site to learn more about Ed’s story.

Dog Lover Paula Abdul gifts Guide Dog

American Idol judge, Paula Abdul, is pretty sweet to want to surprise booted “Idol” Scott MacIntyre with a Guide Dog, courtesy of Guide Dogs of America in Sylmar, CA. Of course, I’m hoping that a Golden Retriever turns out to be the perfect match.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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?

Learn more about Golden Guide Dogs here.

New Guide Dog Africa has awful big pawprints to fill.

Michael Hingson getting hug from Guide Dog Roselle

Michael Hingson getting hug from Guide Dog Roselle

Michael Hingson has been a Guide Dog user for the past 43 years, his Guide Dogs all provided to him at no cost by Guide Dogs for the Blind. (You can learn more about guide dogs at our foundation site.)

Michael became world famous after the attacks on 9/11. His Guide Dog Roselle led him from the 78th floor of the World Trade Center and away from the collapsing buildings to safety. Roselle was asleep under Hingson’s desk during the terrorist attacks, and helped lead Hingson down all those stairs to the street through a hazy maze of debris and chaos.

Dickin Medal "For Gallantry"RoselleRoselle was inducted into the Alabama Veterinary Medical Association Hall of Fame, and received a number of awards for her teamwork with Michael. She was awarded the Dickin Medal from Britain for her devotion to duty. The medal is recognized worldwide as “the animals’ Victoria Cross” (in American terms, the animal equivalent of the Congressional Medal of Honor). Roselle was also awarded the Kennel Club 2002 Ace Award for Service Dog of the Year. Several years ago she developed a blood disorder and took an early retirement. Michael has no proof but is quite certain that the disorder is a result of the toxic fumes and dust she inhaled on that horrendous day in 2001.

Roselle has since retired and officially hung up her harness over a year ago, the San Rafael, CA based Guide Dogs for the Blind throwing her a huge retirement party, complete with a 21-gun salute. Today, Roselle is relaxing as a pampered pet in the Hingson home in northern California.

But, moving on, Michael has needed to begin a partnership with a new guide dog. Honestly, I cannot imagine how stressful that must be, for both the handler and the dog who now must understand that s/he does not get to be out and about as much, and needs to learn to accept a life of leisure rather than work. Roselle led Michael for 7 years and as he says “remains my friend, a member of my family and a hero to me and so many others”. But, his next guide dog Meryl, who had worked with him this past year and a half, had to be retired.

My sixth guide dog Meryl succeeded Roselle and has been my guide for the past year and a half. Unfortunately, Meryl has not been able to adapt well to the constantly changing demands of my active schedule. Last week, I had to retire Meryl to relieve her from the stress she was exhibiting while guiding.

For any blind person who has to retire a guide dog, the change associated with transitioning from one guide to another is difficult and sometimes can be very traumatic. For my part, I know that retiring Meryl was the best thing that I could do for her. She returned to Guide Dogs for the Blind for a complete evaluation, with the possibility that she be retrained and reissued to another blind person where she can be a better match. Meantime, I eagerly wait to see who my seventh guide dog will be.

Well, Michael brought home his newest Guide Dog, Africa, on November 13, 2008, and he has set up a wonderful diary to document his training with her. It is a marvelous insight into the world of guide dogs and their development. Just click here to learn more and travel a most unique journey with Michael & Africa.

Michael Hingson with new Guide Dog Africa

The Guide Dog Experience …. with Golden Retriever Jerry

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?

Learn more about these smart dudes here.

Golden Guide Lucky a first in China – Updated

I originally posted the following story on January 17, 2008.
0013729e4abe08d3ebd20e.jpgIt is amazing that some things that we so easily take for granted are not available to many other nations in the world. It has taken over 20 years for China to have Guide Dogs despite there being over 12 million people there suffering from some type of visual impairment.

Sadly, the country does not allow open access for larger dogs such as Goldens so Ping Yali, shown here, cannot take full advantage of Lucky’s abilities.

For example, he cannot enter public places. And the city of Beijing does not allow him taken outside unless he is in the company of an able-bodied (rather than blind) person.

Lucky guides Ping across roads, not by recognizing the color of traffic lights, but by watching traffic flows. Lucky recognized the word “Gongyuan”, which means park, after being shown it only a couple of times.

Golden retrievers are considered one of the best breeds for guide dogs because of their intelligence and friendly disposition. The Dalian Medical University Center, where Lucky was trained, was established two years ago. It is now training some 30 canines for visually impaired athletes to raise awareness about facilities for the blind. It takes eight months and costs about 100,000 yuan ($13,500) to train a guide dog.

Ping’s first exposure to guide dogs was at the New York Paralympics, where many blind athletes from European countries and the United States had their own seeing dogs.

UPDATE
On September the 20th, the temporary permission that allowed guide dogs in public places came to an end. The permission, that dated from June 20th was issued due to the Paralympics. Now, again, guide dogs are regarded as ordinary pets and are not allowed on public transportation.

Since there is no accredited organization in China for guide dogs, Ping cannot register him as such. Golden Lucky is taller than Beijing’s current pet standards of 35 cm, and registering him is complicated as ownership of large dogs is restricted. Only seven disabled people in China have seeing eye dogs.

After Paralympics, what´s next for China´s guide dogs?
Xinhua Special Report:  Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games, September 17, 2008

BEIJING, Sept. 17 (Xinhua) — “Lucky; Hou Bin! Lucky; Hou Bin!” yells Ping Yali, a partially blind Chinese woman. “Lucky” is her 30-month-old guide dog. She holds on to his harness with her left hand. In her right, Ping proudly lifts up the Paralympic torch.

Ping cannot see the bright lights beating down on her; she can’t even see the torch she is holding, but she can hear thousands of cheering fans. Their screams get louder as she and Lucky make their way toward Hou Bin, the last torch bearer in the Paralympic’s opening ceremony.

This time the hand-off from one disabled athlete to another is seamless. That was not the case just one month ago. Ping did not bring Lucky with her to the torch relay for the Beijing Olympics. As she made her way through Tian’anmen Square, the torchbearers in front of and behind her did not know she was blind. A passer-by had to tell her when to grab the flame. Ping then ran in zig-zags to hand it to the next person.

“If Lucky were with me, it would never have happened,” said Ping. “He would definitely have led me to the destination.”

Lucky is one of only seven seeing-eye dogs in China. Ping was chosen as one of the first recipients of a guide because she won the country’s first gold medal in the long jump at the 1984 New York Paralympics.

During their first walk together, Lucky helped guide Ping down stairs, which is one of the most challenging tasks for a blind person.  “At that moment, I burst into tears,” she said. “Lucky reduces the risk of injuring myself when I go out.”

The golden retriever graduated from China’s only guide dog training center at Dalian Medical Science University in the northeastern Liaoning Province.  Ping received Lucky last December and will live with him for the next ten years.  The pair go out for morning exercise, shopping, wandering in the park and also to various Paralympic venues.  “I was quite impressed when people struggle to stroke and soothe Lucky when I was with him outside. They truly liked him,” she said.

But Lucky can’t go everywhere. Taxi drivers refuse to give Pinga ride if she has her dog. She is also turned away on public transportation like buses and the subway.  In China, guide dogs were allowed in public places from July 20 to Sept. 20 thanks to a temporary certificate issued by the authority for the Olympics. Now that the Games are over, Ping worries about getting around with her guide dog.

“It is heart-wrenching thinking of Lucky’s fate after the deadline,” she said.

Ping doesn’t want him trapped inside her house all day so she tried to register Lucky with the Office for Dog-raising in Beijing. Her request was denied because she didn’t have a certificate proving Lucky was a guide dog.  So far, there are no accredited organizations for guide dogs in China. Lucky is also bigger than Beijing’s current pet standards of35 cm high. He stands at 80 cm.

An amendment to the Law on the Protection of Disabled Persons in April, granted the blind the right to take guide dogs to public places, provided they obeyed the ‘relevant regulations’.

Just what ‘relevant regulations’ mean is unclear to Wang Jingyu, the director of China’s Guide Dog Training Center.  “The article is too vague. Detailed rules are need to help its implementation,” said Wang.  He suggested the central government allow guide dogs in all public places and give more financial support to train more dogs.

The China Disabled Persons Federation estimates there are 12 million people with visual impairments in the country. Yet there are only 20 guide dogs currently receiving training in Dalian.  “Not every blind person needs a guide dog, but if he needs it,I hope I can give him the choice,” said Wang.

The cost to train a guide dog is more than 100,000 yuan (14,663U.S. dollars). Golden Retrievers, Labradors and German Sherpherds are the breeds most likely to be chosen and only 30 percent of those trained end up working with blind owners.  “Guide dogs should not be afraid of sounds, lights, fires and cars,” said Wang. “They should be calm and not invasive.”

China’s Guide Dog Training Center was established in May 2006.  The facility operates on a small government grant along with company and private donations. It employs 17 people, most of whom are young female university graduates. Wang said the future of the center is uncertain.

It’s not news Ping wants to hear.  For a divorced mother whose son has gone to university, Lucky helps not only with day-to-day tasks but also with her loneliness.  “Guide dogs are eyes for the blind. They can help us go out of rooms and integrate into the society. I hope more people could enjoy the benefits brought by the guide dogs,” said Ping.

An American donor gave Lucky his name. Ping says he’s already lived up to it.

Only six other blind people in China are as lucky as Ping to receive a guide dog, and she hopes her appearance with Lucky in the Paralympics will change those statistics.  “The Chinese people now know guide dogs are not pets. They are working dogs just as police dogs are,” she said. “Guide dogs are intelligent and friendly. They won’t cause any safety issues.”

As the spirit of inclusion lingers in China after the Paralympics, Ping hopes society will find a place for not only the blind but also their new four-legged companions.

Last day at Yankee Stadium for Golden Guide Dog Laramie

Yankee Stadium. Photo by Mitsu Yasukawa/ The Star-Ledger

Jane Lang and her guide dog Laramie are at a familiar destination: Yankee Stadium. Mitsu Yasukawa/ The Star-Ledger

Well, Yankee Stadium is now history, which means at this date, that Golden Retriever Laramie and Jane Lang have probably made their last journey there.

I have not known too many diehard baseball fans, but can understand that going to a game is almost akin to family rituals such as getting together for a holiday dinner.

Check out this really wonderful article (I am reproducing it below in its entirety so that it can always be accessed. It is just too good to not have recorded so that folks can always have the ability to enjoy it.)

Morris Plains fan’s every visit a result of teamwork
By Steve Politi, The Star-Ledger, September 14, 2008

NEW YORK — The doors to the D Train open at 161st and River Avenue and they step onto the platform, one unlikely Yankees fan guiding another through the dense game-day crowd.

Laramie leads the way. Jane Lang follows at his side. They walk up a stairwell to the street and past the vendors lined up alongside the famous ballpark. They circle around to Gate 4, where Laramie stops in front of his favorite tree. He has earned a quick bathroom break.

“Isn’t this place something?” Lang asks when they finally make their way to her seats behind home plate. This is a spot that gives her an ideal view of the old ballpark, from the famous facade that looms in the outfield to the infield grass that is always a perfect shade of green.

Except she has never seen Yankee Stadium — at least not in the way most fans have. Jane Lang is blind. Laramie, a golden retriever, is her guide dog. For the past eight years, they have made the trip from their home in Morris Plains to the Bronx too many times to count.

And one week from today, along with 55,000 other fortunate fans, they will make it for the final time. “I am very sad about it. I love it here,” Lang said. She is wearing a light-blue Derek Jeter T-shirt and dangly Yankees earrings, and Laramie has curled up on a Yankees beach towel spread at her feet. “The minute I step into Yankee Stadium, I feel safe. “I feel home.”

Yankee Stadium means something different to every fan who has walked through its gates since 1923. The first time Lang made this trip, she gripped the metal bar in front of her seat, heard those familiar sounds of batting practice and beer vendors, and couldn’t stop her tears.

“What are you crying for?” the usher asked her. “We haven’t even lost the game yet!” “I’m crying,” Jane Lang said, “because I got here on my own.”

That first journey was not without an unintentional detour. She had filled her pockets with eight pieces of candy, one for each stop the D Train would make, and popped one into her mouth every time the doors opened.

But she must have dropped one piece along the way, because she got off one stop too soon. It didn’t take long to figure out that something was wrong, though. Laramie wouldn’t budge until she got back on the train.

He leads her around puddles in the street and past careless teenagers talking on their cell phones as they walk. He makes sure she stops on every corner and waits for the light to turn green.

He walks like a typical New Yorker, never hesitant to bump his way through a slow-moving crowd. Lang follows at his right side, whispering “good boy” when he stops at the subway stairs or near the edge of a ramp.

It is a two-hour trip that could test the nerves of a person with 20/20 vision. Lang, 65, makes it about 25 times a year, sometimes with her husband Pete to help, but often just with Laramie. “You can’t be afraid,” Lang said, “because if you’re afraid, you can’t do anything.”

She has experienced Yankee Stadium in a way unlike any of the millions of people who have come here. She has listened to the radio broadcast of the game in one ear and the reaction from the crowd in the other. If the other fans get angry about a call, she joins them. “Hey, ump!” she’ll yell from her seat. “Are you watching the same game I’m watching?”

Pete planned a special surprise for their 41st wedding anniversary, leading her onto the field before a game and into the Yankees dugout where Jorge Posada was waiting for her. She reached up and felt his face. “He has such a great smile, he really does,” she said. “And he hit a home run that day!”

She was sitting next to Harlan Chamberlain the night his famous son, Joba, made his much-anticipated first start for the Yankees. Harlan, who uses a wheelchair, held her hand so tight she thought it would break, and when she touched his cheek, she felt the tears.

The Yankees have become her family. Maybe the fans around her are furious with the team for its struggles on the field this season, but Lang is grateful that they put a fresh patch of sod outside for Laramie if he needs to make a bathroom break. She kisses the concessionaire and sends Christmas cards to the ushers.

She wishes she could meet owner George Steinbrenner some day, because she knows exactly what she would tell him. “You know what I would do?” she said. “I would touch his face and give him a big hug and say, ‘Thanks for giving me so much joy over the years.’ ”

Lang hopes she can still visit the new Yankee Stadium next year, but Laramie, now 10, won’t come back after the final trip to the old ballpark next Sunday. The team even put his picture on the scoreboard screen last month, congratulating him on his upcoming retirement.

That day after the game, as the two walked down the steps to the D Train, fans spotted the golden retriever.

“Make way for Laramie!” they yelled, and the crowded parted to let them through. He will lead her down those steps one last time next week, and Lang knows she’ll be crying when he does. But they’ll leave this place with a lifetime of memories from a ballpark she has seen in a way nobody else has.

National Service Dog Eye Exam Day

The American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists (ACVO) in association with Pet Health Systems, will host an unprecedented event in veterinary medicine the week of May 12, 2008. Over 140 board certified veterinary ophthalmologists will provide FREE eye exams to America’s Service Dogs. Pet Health Systems will provide a FREE lifestyle assessment, a biochemical profile, and complete blood count through their Pet Wellness Report and primary care veterinarians. It is anticipated that through these efforts Service Dog Health can be improved and potential disease averted.

Qualifying Service Dog groups include: guide dogs, mobility assistance dogs, detection dogs, and search & rescue dogs. Dogs must be active ‘working dogs’ that were certified by a formal training program or organization or currently enrolled in a formal training program to qualify. The certifying organization could be national, regional or local in nature. Essentially the dogs need to have some sort of certification and/or training paperwork to prove their status as a working Service Dog to participate in this year’s program.


Click on the image above to see a video about this special event

Click here for the steps to participate and to Register

Golden Retriever Guide Dog-in-Training Winnie debuts

In October of 2006 we initially brought you the story about Golden Retriever Fisher. On August 18, 2006, training to be a guide dog, he made a guest appearance on the CBS Your Desk webcast. You can see the video webcast by clicking here.

Well, Fisher washed out of the program due to allergies, but his dad now gets to call him his own. And, Fisher is now training a new upstart named Winnie. She is adorable and seems so sweet, as all Golden puppies do, of course. Check out the whole story at Golden Fisher’s Blog!

To see a gorgeous 43-photo slide show of adorable Winnie, just click on the photo above.

To see some fun videos of Winnie’s debut and Fisher getting to play with his new sister-in-training, just check out the links below.

Welcome to Winnie Cam

Winnie attends to her Newsroom Duties

Winnie and Fisher play Chase

Meet Golden Guide Dog-in-training Jewel

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This is Frank Davis and Golden Jewel, from Leader Dogs for the Blind. She is the 17th leader dog that Frank has raised. He and wife raise about one dog per year, which is an incredible level of dedication.

Learn more about this special family here.

And, to learn more about guide dogs, guide dog schools in the US, and more check out our comprehensive pages on these special workers at our foundation’s site.

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Golden Guide Pixie providing new independence

th1_1312200742ltn005_001_14-12-07_112146.jpgDiabetes is such a devastating disease, especially in its juvenile form. This young man, Kevin, recently lost his sight, having developed the disease initially at age 7. Friends and family raised $10,000 for the training of guide dogs in the hope that he would soon be next in line to receive his. Sadly, there are just not enough dogs to go around as the need is much greater than the availability given the very specialized training required for this type of working dog. Learn more about Kevin and Pixie here.

You can also learn more about Golden guides at our foundation’s site.

Golden Guide Lucky a first in China

0013729e4abe08d3ebd20e.jpgIt is amazing that some things that we so easily take for granted are not available to many other nations in the world. It has taken over 20 years for China to have Guide Dogs despite there being over 12 million people there suffering from some type of visual impairment.

Sadly, the country does not allow open access for larger dogs such as Goldens so Ping Yali, shown here, cannot take full advantage of Lucky’s abilities.

For example, he cannot enter public places. And the city of Beijing does not allow him taken outside unless he is in the company of an able-bodied (rather than blind) person.

Lucky guides Ping across roads, not by recognizing the color of traffic lights, but by watching traffic flows. Lucky recognized the word “Gongyuan”, which means park, after being shown it only a couple of times.

Golden retrievers are considered one of the best breeds for guide dogs because of their intelligence and friendly disposition. The Dalian Medical University Center, where Lucky was trained, was established two years ago. It is now training some 30 canines for visually impaired athletes to raise awareness about facilities for the blind. It takes eight months and costs about 100,000 yuan ($13,500) to train a guide dog.

Ping’s first exposure to guide dogs was at the New York Paralympics, where many blind athletes from European countries and the United States had their own seeing dogs.

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Golden Guide Frazier opens new world

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Daniel Sisco suffers from Retinitis Pigmentosa which had worsened to the point that he is now legally blind. He met 2-year-old Frazier in September when they went through training together at Leader Dogs for the Blind.

When in his working harness, the dog obeys commands and ignores distractions, Sisco said. However, he’s still a bit of a puppy and when out of the harness likes to romp and play and has been known to chew on items such as CDs and shoes.

Learn more about our special Golden Guides at our foundation’s site. 

Talk about fearless…..

I’ve often wondered about the lives of some of my disabled friends, realizing just how hard it must be to deal with paralysis or blindness. I always love hearing about the many wonderful accommodations through technology that are now available, as well as all the special gadgets that do so much to promote independence.

A new Golden family

This photo shows Ed and Toni Eames, who have for many years had Golden Guide Dogs by their sides. You can learn more about them at the Foundation’s site.

Ed is a real sweetie, and despite some serious health issues, thinks he can conquer all. I recently received this post and photos that just defied belief. Gary would not let me near a saw, and that’s despite my pretty good vision.

Living in suburban Fresno has its hazards, such as low hanging trees and bushes growing into the sidewalk area. As you can see from the photos, Ed does his civic duty by cleaning up the environment! If you look closely, you can see the wound on Ed’s head from a prior encounter with a low hanging branch.

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Meet Golden Retriever Camper

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Camper was the result of a cooperative breeding with The SeeingEye. He was not selected for guide training because he was thunderphobic in the huge Seeing Eye Kennels. In March Camper was named the official Seeing Eye Ambassador/Outreach dog. He is the first Golden retriever to be given this honor.

Nicknamed Campie, this guy is doing wonderfully with his new fundraising role. He recently did a presentation at Randolph High School and less than two weeks later, the students had raised $10,000, the largest sum ever raised for the Pennies for Puppies and Dollars for Dogs Programs. The difference between the two programs is simple: for participants for whom pennies are the easiest to give, such as young schoolchildren, Pennies for Puppies may be more appropriate; while Dollars for Dogs might be a better fit for high schools, civic organizations, or corporations.

The high school then wanted Camper to be there when they presented to money to The Seeing Eye, holding the assembly in the school’s football field. The person who took Camper to the event said that everyone stood when she and Campie walked out onto the field and kept cheering over and over “Cam-per, Cam-per, Cam-per!”

Camper has an extremely busy social schedule in his job, sometimes doing as many as eight events in one week, but he loves it.

Camper’s dam is our Aimee (Morningstar American Beauty CD, SH, WCX, CCA, OD) and his sire Kapp, is Seeing Eye’s Trinity’s Storm Cloud bred by Caroline Kaplonski.

Click here to see a video of Camper helping at an assembly about fund raising for The Seeing Eye. (The video only seems to work in Internet Explorer.)

Golden Retriever Guide Dog Avery, R.E.A.D. Golden King & more…

Nice to see some good ‘Golden’ news.

First, I can well imagine the happiness and relief that Golden Woody’s parents had after he was winched to safety by a team of coastguards.

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This is Golden Guide Dog Avery. Click here to see a video about why he is such a special gift.

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This handsome guy is King and boy is he enjoying David reading to him. Click here to learn more about how a schoo’s special education department has happily gone to the dogs.

Kayla and Golden Retriever Mollie


Kayla works with Mollie at her home and below rewards her for her efforts.
Photos by Don Knight / The Herald Bulletin

 

Kayla loves to work with her Golden girl Mollie on areas such as obedience, agility, and showmanship, competing with her in local 4-H Fairs.

And, recently through her 4-H organization, she helped train a Leader Dog for the Blind.

Kayla reminds me of Vicki Miller, a youngster that we followed at our foundation’s site for a few years.

Vicki Miller did great puppy raising work for The Seeing Eye, an organization that is located in Morristown, NJ. At the age of 9, she found out about 4-H’s Seeing Eye Puppy Raising Program, then beginning this work in 1993. Vicki says she will always be a 4-Her at heart, having represented Pennsylvania at the National 4-H Congress and getting to attend a 4-H Japanese Exchange trip.

Golden Retriever Guide Dog Vale honored

Nicki CockburnIt is amazing that this young girl Nicki has completed a 200-mile charity walk.

Her Golden Vale retired last year after 10 years working by her side.

The golden retriever won the title of Exceptional Work Guide Dog of the Year in 2005 after learning three walking routes in 10 weeks when Miss Cockburn was touring with a theatre company.

She said a guide dog partnership was all about team work. My two dogs have been wonderful, with Vale transforming my independence and confidence, turning me from a shy teenager into a confident young woman.

“I wanted to do something which highlights the determination and ambitions of blind people, fundraise for Guide Dogs, and honour two special team players – Vale and Chelsea.”