Guide dogs help those with vision loss to maintain active lifestyles
Guiding Eyes for the Blind provides dogs to people with vision loss – and now, it’s helping them keep up active lifestyles.
Karen Dewing is an avid runner and hiker who started to lose her vision when she was 33-years-old and eventually became legally blind.
The Guiding Eyes Yorktown Heights facility matched Dewing with a black Labrador named Flint.
The dogs are trained to be able to run and maintain safety for the dog and the client at a faster speed. The training takes at least two years.
“They're just not going out for a run and following their person around the park,” says Joleye Hollister, from Guiding Eyes for the Blind. "They’re still taking into account branches down, potholes, curbs, anything that could cause a safety problem.”
Dewing says her running days are far from over thanks to Guiding Eyes.
“To experience things that you've enjoyed over your lifetime that have slipped away that now is returning is a great feeling,” says Dewing.
This month, Guiding Eyes for the Blind is hosting a fundraiser called Wag-A-Thon, a marathon that you and your dog can walk or run anywhere.
Money raised helps provide these guide dogs to people with vision loss free of charge.