Some program graduates share their thoughts about the benefits of getting a guide dog from the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind.
I became familiar with guide dogs during my mobility training at Pittsburgh Vision Services. I immediately observed how easily guide dog teams could ambulate—they were quicker and safer. I gathered as much info about schools and training that I could. I chose the Guide Dog Foundation because of its reputation for good guide dogs, follow-up care when needed, and the warm, friendly, and patient staff. I feel like "a member of the family." Having a guide dog is awesome. Lucie has given me so much confidence to be independent, and safe to go and do whatever I want. She is my eyes, my safety, my companion, and my best friend.—Judy G.
When I am out with my guide dog, he works so well, looks so proud, and is so handsome that he attracts positive attention to us. He adds dignity and independence to my life—things I would not have without him.—Spero P.
Dori motivated my husband into realizing that I could go out, alone, shopping, running errands, making doctor appointments, and even taking my daughters trick-or-treating on Halloween. Actually, Dori motivated me to tell him that I was a grown woman who could go out without having to worry about him worrying about me. Dori, in her own way, showed my husband that I was in "good paws." She also showed him that her memory is better than his when it comes to where the vehicle is parked when we go out to malls or places with large parking lots. He loses the car and she finds it.—Samantha T.
The most important reason why I chose the Guide Dog Foundation is because of the individualized attention that is given to each student while training with a guide dog. From beginning to end, I felt that my interviews with the instructor were taken seriously. I felt that everything I said was taken into consideration when making a choice of the right guide dog for me. And the fruits of their labors are the following: To put it strongly but simply, the Foundation went far beyond my dreams, matching me with a wonderful dog who is matched hand to glove with me. I've been blessed to have had three of the most wonderful dogs who added so much to my life in the way of freedom and independence. The love and loyalty that each dog gave me went far beyond my dreams. For my present dog—how can I find words to describe the almost perfect working loving relationship that we have? She's cautious, consistent, and right in focus with me 100% of the time that we're out there pounding the streets and sidewalks of a big city that could be stressful at times. With Frisky at my side, I have absolutely no fears of walking at any time of the day. All of this happened because of the superb instructors who really do listen to everything you tell them during the interview and actual training.—Pat M.