I'm partnering with Natural Balance (the maker of premium-quality pet food) and Guide Dogs for the Blind (a non-profit charitable organization that raises and trains exceptional guide dogs to serve the blind and visually impaired) to recognize the 'Top Human-Canine Teams Who Make Us Believe.
Please join me to learn more about the partnership between Natural Balance and the Guide Dogs for the Blind. I want to introduce you to a team and a scenario you may never expect happening in your life but happened to this person and the dog that changed their life.
September is also known as National Guide Dog Month, so I decided to learn more about what it might be like for people who are blind or visually impaired.
I learned more about Michelle Yoo and her canine guide Oscar.
|Photo by Liz Bagot|
Imagine attending your first year of college. You know how large many colleges are.
Getting to class to class can be difficult but imagine trying to do without sight. Between the hills and curbs of most campuses it can be difficult navigating around the campus. Not to mention all the other students running around trying to get to class.
Michelle was born with glaucoma. Michelle spent a big part of her young life unable to navigate the world around her. Later, when Michelle became more mobile, it came with its fair share of bumps and bruises. Lacking depth perception, she lived in a constant state of discomfort and found it increasingly difficult to get around.
Around the same time that she started her undergraduate degree in psychology, Michelle made the split second decision to apply for Guide Dogs for the Blind program, and she has never looked back. From the get go, Michelle knew that the program had done a marvelous job in matching her with her beautiful golden guide dog Oscar—they immediately fell into step with each other, and within two months knew they had a lifelong partnership.
Even more surprising was the sheer number of people who approached Michelle on the first day of the new semester. The questions on everyone’s lips were: “Who is your furry friend?”, “Where can I get one?”, and of course “Can I pet him?” With this positive attention, the pair was able to walk with confidence everyday—whether it be on a small grocery shopping trip or a longer trip to visit Michelle’s sister in Los Angeles. Together, the two tackle intense psychology and jiu jitsu classes, but always leave room for playtime. Michelle and Oscar are primed to tackle deadlines and take the mental health field by storm.
To help people like Michelle thrive, please consider donating to Guide Dogs to the Blind. Once there, you can also read about the eight other amazing human-canine teams.
There's no better time than National Guide Dog Month to show your support for these incredible people and their four-legged superheros.
I am friends with a few puppy raisers for Guide Dogs to the Blind. Those puppies go through months and months of training with their puppy raisers and then when old enough they go on to schools to be trained tasks for handlers. Raising puppies is not cheap.
Guide Dogs for the Blind Facts:
Opened in 1942
Has more than 2,000 puppy raising families throughout the Western states.
More than 14,000 teams have graduated since opening.
Operate two training facilities in San Rafael, CA and Boring, OR
Guide Dog Month was first inspired by Natural Balance co-founder, Dick Van Patten, who was impressed by the intelligence and training of guide dogs.
During a visit to a local guide dog school, he was blindfolded and experienced how guide dogs provide mobility and assistance to visually impaired and blind people. After learning about the costs, dedication and commitment to raise and train a guide dog, he was inspired to help raise awareness and support the cause.
Please donate to Guide Dogs to the Blind
Would appreciate you sharing to help educate others on this important program.
Have you ever met a guide dog team?