Guide Dog Foundation

Press and Events

Andrew Rubenstein
Director of Marketing


 “Growing Up Fisher” TV Show is Inspired By Creator’s Experience with
His Father’s First Guide Dog from the Guide Dog Foundation  

February 18, 2014 – Smithtown, NY – The Guide Dog Foundation ( is thrilled to support NBC’s new comedy series “Growing Up Fisher” (, which is inspired by creator/executive producer DJ Nash’s own childhood experiences when his father trained with a guide dog from the Guide Dog Foundation in the early 1980s.  Starring J.K. Simmons and Jenna Elfman, “Growing Up Fisher” follows 11-year-old Henry (Eli Baker) as he adjusts to his parents’ divorce and his blind father’s (Simmons) new guide dog. The “Growing Up Fisher” pilot will premiere after the Olympic Closing Ceremony on Sunday, February 23, at 10:30 p.m. ET on NBC, and then will air a new episode in its normal time slot on Tuesday, February 25, at 9:30 p.m. ET on NBC.  

“In 1981, my dad acquired his first guide dog from the Guide Dog Foundation, and she changed our lives. She changed my dad’s life for sure, but she really changed all of our lives. I went from being my dad’s human guide to having to race to keep up with him,” said Nash. “My dad lost his sight when he was 11, and until he was around 45, he navigated the world with the help of humans. Several things led him to the decision to get a guide dog, including a fellow law school student who was also blind, and him seeing someone he respected with a guide dog really made an impact on him and his decision to get a dog.”

In 1946, when the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind was founded, its mission was simple: to provide guide dogs and training – free of charge – to people who were blind or visually impaired. A 12-day in-residence training program at our Smithtown, NY, campus teaches our students the skills and commands needed to foster a successful working team with a guide dog. Upon completion of training, the newly created human and guide dog team returns home to start their new life together.

“The airing of ‘Growing Up Fisher’ is a wonderful opportunity to bring even more awareness to our mission to improve the quality of life for people who are blind or visually impaired,” says Wells B. Jones, CEO of the Guide Dog Foundation. “The show clearly showcases the independence a guide dog brings to its handler – as well as the challenges guide dog handlers face every day.”

All “Growing Up Fisher” episodes, including the post-Olympics premiere, will be offered with descriptive viewing. 

Click the links below to see a three part interview with creator and executive producer DJ Nash.
Part 1 -
Part 2 -
Part 3 -

About the Guide Dog Foundation 

For over six decades, the Guide Dog Foundation has supported the independence, enhanced mobility, and companionship a guide dog brings to its handler. Students come to its Smithtown, N.Y., campus from all over the United States and Canada for the quality of Foundation dogs and its innovative training techniques.   

There is never a cost to consumers for their guide or service dogs. The Guide Dog Foundation relies on contributions from generous individuals, corporations, service clubs, and foundations to support its programs. It does not receive government funding. 

In 2009, the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind became the first assistance dog school in the United States to be certified by the International Guide Dog Federation and Assistance Dogs International. It was re-certified by both regulatory bodies in 2013.

To learn more or to donate, visit