It’s April 24 – and it also happens to be International Guide Dog Day. It’s a day to honor those hard working canines who provide independence for so many visually impaired humans. Did you know that there are references to Guide Dogs dating back to the mid-16th century!
The first schools to train Guide Dogs were started in Germany during World War I. The first Seeing Eye School in the US was established in 1929 in Nashville, Tennesseee, and it moved in 1931 to New Jersey.
In the earliest days, German Shepherds were commonly used for this important job. Today, the Labrador Retriever is the most popular breed used globally.
Besides the obvious benefits to mobility, Guide Dogs also provide support and companionship to individuals with visual impairments. I read a line that said ” The animal isn’t seen as a working animal, but more as a loyal friend.”
There are a number of organizations that train Guide Dogs. Here’s a nice little video that shows you how a dog is trained – and the tremendous impact that having a Guide Dog can have on an individual’s life.
And if that one didn’t make you cry – try this one:
It takes a special dog to make the cut for this important job. And we also can’t forget those wonderful foster homes that train puppies in their early months. The foundations that they provide are so critical – and it takes a special person or family to pass on that puppy when he is ready for more training.
So cheers today to Guide Dogs! You make us canines look very good!
Have a good one. Peace and paws up:
Seizure free days: 21