This year, Guide Dogs for the Blind celebrates our 70th anniversary. We had a chance to talk with someone who’s been with us for 60 of those years. Bea Hawkins, 93, is on her eighth Guide Dog. She is the perfect example of what we mean when we say GDB makes a lifelong commitment to its graduates.
Apparently, a yellow Lab named Natura wasn't destined to become a Guide Dog -- she didn't like air travel -- but she'd be PERFECT as a K9 Buddy for a child with visual impairments. Meanwhile, 9-year-old ZachThibodeaux was learning to adjust to his rapidly fading vision. Zach wanted a K9 Buddy, and Natura seemed to be just the ticket! But how to get her there? Listen to an incredible story about how one little dog and one young boy brought so many people together...
Once upon a time, there was a big yellow Labrador named Noah. Although Noah would not become a Guide Dog, he won the heart of Megan Minkiewicz and started her down a path of raising GDB puppies. In the process, she's won a whole new world of friends and created a supportive community network. She speaks from the heart about the impact of her puppies on her and on the lucky people who receive our dogs.
We listen in as GDB Alumna and former Board Member Vickie Kennedy talks with restaurant waite staff at a fundraiser for Guide Dogs for the Blind about how to give the best customer service to someone who is blind or visually impaired.
She was a young mother with a brand new baby and two small children when she first learned she'd eventually lose her sight due to retinitis pigmentosa. Gail Paulson tells how she found the resources she needed to regain her independence, and the joy she has experienced in having a Guide Dog.
Whether it’s racing down Paralympic ski slopes guided by her husband, Rob, or traveling through crowded international airports with her Guide Dog Bettylynn, Danelle Umstead is a champion in the art and joys of teamwork.
This group of young people just received their new Guide Dogs and are on their way to something big: Cody with yellow Lab Champagne, Sirena with black Lab Tony, Janna with yellow Lab Susie, Heidi with black Lab Nile and John with yellow Lab Marcella.
Fifteen years ago, after losing her sight to retinitis pigmentosa, Becky Andrews wondered if she could ever lead an active life again. After getting hit by a car, she realized it was past time to get a Guide Dog. Now she enjoys the gift of freedom, joy and independence of traveling with a Guide Dog. Her dog has saved her life.
Lucy Greco has many ties to Guide Dogs for the Blind. In addition to giving presentations about GDB with her Guide Dog Pecan, she and her husband foster Guide Dog puppies and dogs in need of extra-special love and attention. She said, “Being a Foster Care provider is the most rewarding volunteer job we’ve ever had!”
Although she has some sight, traveling on the streets of San Francisco wasn’t always pretty for Divina Fontanilla. Then she took a fall from a height of six feet. “You’d think I’d learn my lesson, but as stubborn as I am, it took me awhile to make the decision to get a Guide Dog. Now, I believe it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made!”