April 15th 2009 1:05 pm
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I just want to take a moment to tell everyone about a very special group of 4th grade students in Iowa Fall, IA that I have had the honor of working with over the past few years. This class of fourth graders from the Rock Run Elementary School in Iowa Falls, IA takes on the task of helping to train and raise funds to help support the Leader Dogs for the Blind Puppy program both in Iowa and at the Leader Dogs for the Blind facility in Rochester, MI. Over the past seven years the fourth graders in Mrs. Jones' class have taken on the Leader Dog Puppy programs and have raised over $14,000 to sponsor Leader Dog Puppies being raised by the inmates at the North Central Iowa Correctional Facility in Rockwell City, IA.
Since the puppies at the prison typically don't have the opportunity to intermingle with young people on a regular basis, the puppies are brought to the school to work with the 4th graders three or four times during the school year to become accustomed to young people and to have th young people do part of the extensive puppy training before actually being fully trained as a working "Leader Dog".
My partner and I have had the opportunity to attend the classes and inform the students what an actual working dog can do for a blind/severely visually impaired person. Its a lot of fun and the kids are great.
So, again "Thanks to the 4th grade students in Mrs. Jones' class at Rock Run Elementary School in Iowa Falls, IA for all your wonderful work in support and helping to train future Leader Dogs for the Blind."
March 19th 2009 7:04 am
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Being a very special member of a very special team, I love informing and educating others about Leader Dogs for the Blind. My partner and I relish in the opportunity to tell everyone that we come in contact with and very class, group or organization that we are invited to speak to about how wonderful of a job I perform; taking my severely visually impaired partner where ever he needs to go. How I get him safely across streets, around obstacles on the sidewalk, how I avoid low overhanging branches & awnings, how I can take my partner places he wishes to go just by being shown how to get there once and having my partner just telling me that place verbally. In the last few weeks my partner and I have been invited to and have spoken to approximately seven or eight different groups and Lions Clubs, the wonderful organization that help start and support Leader Dogs for the Blind, and we have more scheduled. Its a lot of fun and my partner even gives me a treat, if I behave myself, to thank me through instant gratification; although he is spoiling me.
I am really proud to hear how much my partner appreciates my work and the wonderful job that the trainers and everyone associated with the Leader Dogs for the Blind did in getting me ready of the job that I do. I love my partner and I know that he loves me. Another day, another treat.
March 3rd 2009 11:22 am
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My name is Logan and I am a 3 1/2 year old black lab. I am also a working dog/dog guide from Leader Dogs for the Blind. I am partnered with a blind/severely visual-impaired person named Gary; we have been working together for 2-years, we were matched in January 2007 at the Leader Dog training school in Rochester, MI. Gary depends on me to be his eyes and to help him manipulate busy streets, go places he wants to go in a safe manner, we are together 24 hours per day. I take him to the mall, the grocery store, the post office, the doctor's office; just by Gary verbally telling me the location, or just about anywhere that he wants to go if I have been there before. We watch out for each other, as Gary does not want any harm to come to me just like I don't want any harm to come to him. We are the best of buddies.
Being a Leader Dog is not all work, however. When I don't have my harness on I am just another faithful companion like all my dog pals. Gary and I like to play together when I am not in my harness. We play with my Nylabone, my hard rubber tire chew toy and my chew rope. As Gary likes to tell people, "Logan is a dog first a dog guide second. Logan is one of the best service dogs ever." Then he usually gives my head a gentle pat and gives me a treat.
Gary and I are members of one of our hometown's Lions Clubs. Lions Club members are the ones that initiated Leader Dogs for the Blind back in 1939. Now Gary and I like to go to different organizations, schools, social events, and Lions Clubs and Gary like to tell everyone about how wonderful I am and how wonderful his two previous Leader Dogs have been. I am really proud of the work I do as a Leader Dog and so is Gary.
I will come back at a later time and tell you more about our adventures and the great relationship we have together.
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