Paula Lawrence-Brown is the director of Guide Dogs of Texas and creates a better life for offenders at the Dominguez State Jail with the Pawsitive Approach Program.
The director said that the inmates participating in the program are the ones that want to turn their lives around and want to contribute to the community. Eighty offenders in the prison have already participated in the program and only two have returned to Dominguez.
The program is already fourteen-years old and has already shifted to a new warden about four months ago.
Kamloops resident John Ronald was told by his wife to apply for a dog guide in the Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides program. The man suffers from epilepsy and has now acquired a companion that can literally save his life. Not only that, the man’s vision is also impaired because of a baseball that hit him in the head while watching a game when he was 14.
The man is partnered with Ava, a yellow Labrador, who is trained to bark at the onset of his seizures. This is to alert his family and anyone in the vicinity on what is about to happen. The dog can also press an alert button when necessary.
Having the dog at his side means he no longer has great concerns over his personal safety because the K9 will always be by his side.
Source: Dog guide helps keep epileptic man safe
When retired Army Staff Sgt. Brian K. Pearce awoke from a two-month coma, it had left him with a very narrow field of vision, short-term memory loss, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The last thing he knew was his Humvee jerking violently, the smell of explosives, and a shrapnel from a roadside bomb that shot through his skull. A 3-year old black Labrador Retriever by the name of Gunner helps the veteran feel “human again.”
The dog was provided to the veteran by the non-profit organization Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind in early 2013. The black Labrador Retriever helps his owner avoid obstacles while walking, awaken him from nightmares, and guide him outside a crowded place when he is experiencing flashbacks from his days in active duty.
The retired Army Staff Sergeant said that the road to recovery is still filled with “dark days” but teaming with Gunner has aided him in regaining independence.
Source: Dog helps Purple Heart war veteran ‘feel human again
Foster, a golden retriever/lab mix, has given Jim Unger a new perspective in life. The man has been born with the ability to see but has lost his sight at a young age due to a disease known as Atypical Retinitis Pigmentosa. The guide dog now serves as his master’s eyes and the bond between the two has been forged out of love and respect.
The man decided to become a mechanic when he was young but going blind changed that. Now, he is a rehabilitation specialist for the blind and works for the state of Wisconsin. The man and his seeing eye dog travel across more than seven counties in the Northwoods to teach people who are losing their sight (or are already blind) on how to become independent.
The guide dog was acquired last year in an organization that trains dogs called The Seeing Eye.
Source: Seeing eye dog changes long time blind man’s life
Kathryn Stewart of Compton Road, Addiscombe lost her sight when she was pregnant. She had gotten a guide dog named Elle back in 2011. Her Golden Labrador has given her freedom and confidence to even do Christmas shopping.
The 39-year old woman is urging people to donate to the Croydon Guardian Campaign to raise money for Guide Dogs UK. She now also volunteers for Guide Dogs UK and gives talks to schools about living with a visual impairment and about having a guide dog as a companion.
Guide dogs get no funding from the government; without the donations she received, the woman would not have her freedom.
Source: Guide Dog Appeal: Life has improved since meeting Ella
The newest addition to the Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides are guide and service dogs. Natalie Moncur, the communications manager of the organization, reports that they provide Canadians with guide and service dogs at no cost.
The organization trains a number of dogs to assist Canadians with medical and physical disabilities. They can offer a wide range of guide and service dogs to people depending on their need. For instance, the organization’s diabetic alert dogs will warn its owners when the dog senses a drop in their handler’s blood sugar.
Other available dogs include seeing eye dogs, dogs for people with hearing disabilities, service dogs for people with mobility issues, and seizure and autism response dogs. All dogs are free of charge when clients meet the requirements.
Source: VIDEO: Dog guides are there to lend a helping paw
Guide dogs are a great companion for blind people to get around safely. Sherman, a guide dog owned by Robert Miller, saved his owner from being seriously injured, or worse, getting killed. The man was trying to cross an intersection when an eighteen-wheel semi-truck was about to pass by. The dog acted quickly enough for its owner to be only clipped by the large vehicle.
The dog was presented by the mayor of Tallahassee, John Marks, with a Medal of Valor for his heroic deeds. The mayor also proclaimed October 15th to be “White Cane Safety Day in Tallahassee” to call the attention of the people of the state for blind pedestrians.
Source: Guide Dog Honored With Medal of Valor
When it comes to the use of guide dogs, China is falling behind. In Beijing, there are only a total of 8 service canines for the blind reports Xie Wenting of Global Times.
One of the reasons that guide dogs are unpopular in the country is due to public discrimination. Chen Yan, one of the first individuals in China to own a special pet, relies on the canine to do simple tasks. Jennifer, the service dog, picks up items from the floor and follows basic commands. It is clear that the two has forged a strong bond after spending a lot of time with each other.
Jennifer was trained at China Guide Dog Training Center (CGDTC). Even though Chen is unable to see other people’s reaction, she can certainly hear what they have to say about her condition.
Many people in China are still unaware of the benefits of guide dogs. The first person in China to receive this type of pet, Ping Yali, received negative feedback so often that she prefers to leave her canines at home.
Source: Blindsided by society
A canine named Misty sustained horrific injuries and was found in a ditch by Jameson and Everette Barr. The dog was brought to Main West Animal Hospital, where it was treated, reports Allan Benner of Well and Tribune.
Misty was in high morale throughout the painstaking ordeal. Unfortunately, the vet had to remove one of her back legs. PawsAbility developed a prosthesis for the canine.
The humane society is currently accepting donations to help cover the charges for the new and improved leg. The proceeds will go to the Emergency Animal Relief Fund, where it be used to treat canines that need immediate medical attention.
Source: New leg for rescue dog
Deni Elliott, a woman diagnosed with bilateral progressive optic neuropathy, relies on a guide dog to get around and do daily tasks, reports Lana DeGregory of Tampa Bay Times.
Wylie was her first dog. However, Deni had to let him go due to his lively personality. As her condition got worse, the more she realized that she needed a new canine to help cater to her progressive condition. They had built a strong bond over the years and it was hard for her to say goodbye. Wylie was sent to an organization that caters to war veterans who are dealing with PTSD.
After getting rid of Wylie, Deni had to wait for a couple of months to get a new guide pet. During her wait, she had to rely on a cane, which proved to be extremely difficult compared to a dog. The woman eventually became a candidate to receive a canine from Guiding Eyes for the Blind.
The training sessions were intensive. She had to learn how to commit to a guide dog. The woman worked with a number of trainers and instructors before meeting the canine that was assigned to her, Alberta. The Labrador immediately made a connection with Deni. After some time, she began to accept her condition as she allowed the pet to do more things for her.
The woman now brings Alberta everywhere, including to work where she now has a new positive outlook in life, thanks to her guide dog.
Source: Guide dog leads vision-challenged professor to new insight