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Service Dogs Part 3: Guide Dogs

Service dogs assist individuals in a variety of ways. There are the more commonly recognized guide dogs that assist the blind or visually impaired, as well as dogs that assist the deaf or hard of hearing by alerting their owners of alarms and other important sounds. Service dogs also assist the physically disabled by retrieving objects, pulling wheel chairs, turning off light switches and performing other tasks to help in everyday activities. In addition, there are service dogs that assist with invisible disabilities, such as diabetes and anxiety, alerting a person of a physiological change. These dogs are able to

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All About Dogs

Service Dogs Part 1: Hearing-Impaired

This is the first in our series about Service Dogs and the important work they do. Service dogs assist individuals in a variety of ways. There are the more commonly recognized guide dogs that assist the blind or visually impaired, as well as dogs that assist the deaf or hard of hearing by alerting their owners of alarms and other important sounds. Service dogs also assist the physically disabled by retrieving objects, pulling wheel chairs, turning off light switches and performing other tasks to help in everyday activities. In addition, there are service dogs that assist with invisible disabilities, such

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All About Dogs

Service Dogs Part 2: Hypoglycemia/Diabetes

This is the second in our series about service dogs and the important work they do. Service dogs assist individuals in a variety of ways. There are the more commonly recognized guide dogs that assist the blind or visually impaired, as well as dogs that assist the deaf or hard of hearing by alerting their owners of alarms and other important sounds. Service dogs also assist the physically disabled by retrieving objects, pulling wheel chairs, turning off light switches and performing other tasks to help in everyday activities. In addition, there are service dogs that assist with invisible disabilities, such

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All About Dogs

Guide Dog School 1: It’s Definitely Not Summer Camp!

What follows is the first in a series of my thoughts and memories of going through guide dog school for the first time. Having never been a dog owner, this experience was not only unique, it was intimidating, but, looking back, it was the best decision I ever made. Getting a guide dog is not an overnight process. It takes about a year. First there is the application, and submission of letters from your doctor. Then there is an in-home interview where trainers from the guide dog school come out and meet with you. This consists of an in person

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Nine Decades Of The Seeing Eye’s Vision

Located in the suburban enclave of historic Morristown New Jersey, The Seeing Eye®, Inc. is the world’s oldest working guide dog school. Mentioned by Jose Feliciano in a recent concert he gave just down the road from it, as many as twenty-four students at a time visit this institution founded by Morris Frank in 1929. Students ranging in age from sixteen to sixty (and beyond), from all over the US and Canada, spend up to a month training with their Seeing Eye dog, knowing that when they leave with their dog they also leave with a sense of independence unparalleled

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Mental Health Service Dogs

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, service dogs originated in 1920s Germany, where guide dogs were first used to help blind World War I veterans. In 1929, The Seeing Eye® guide dog school opened in the United States, the first of its kind. Now, nearly a century later, there are over 20,000 service dogs in America. These animals do a wide range of tasks, which are defined in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): “…dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Examples of such work or tasks include guiding people

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Guide Dog School 2: And His Name Is…

Today I became best friends with a yellow lab whose name is Nash. We were introduced early in the afternoon. He’s good and strong about not crying or whimpering after the trainers leave the room. The room here at Guiding Eyes for the Blind is bigger than a typical dorm room, but smaller than a New York City studio apartment. There are two doors, one that leads out to the lobby of GEB, and one that leads out to an alley where the dogs can do their business. We were told to hold onto the leashes for the entire first

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Guide Dog School 3: Taking Care Of Business

This is part three of Brian Fischler’s ongoing series about meeting and learning to work with his guide dog, Nash. Walking with a guide dog Today was the first day that we went out into the streets with our guide dogs. Our instructors were attached to our dogs so we weren’t flying solo. My instructor had a leash which also attached to Nash’s collar; that way she could control the dog and ease me into commanding him. I was holding onto his harness to get accustomed to walking with him. We worked on right and left turns. The difficult thing

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All About Dogs

Guide Dog School 4: It Isn’t All Work And No Play

Nash and my second day of working together went pretty well. We worked on going forward, right and left turns. A very common misconception about Guide Dogs is that they read traffic lights and tell you when to cross the street. This is not the case, as dogs are color blind. I have to listen to the sound of traffic, and tell Nash when I think it is safe to cross the street. He is trained not to walk into oncoming traffic. This is definitely going to take some getting used to for me. It wasn’t too long ago that

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All About Dogs

Guide Dog School 5: The First Rule To Working With A Guide Dog Is…

The first rule of working with a guide dog is, you never pet a working guide dog. The second rule to working with a guide dog is, you never pet a working guide dog! Nash had his first visitor today, my Uncle Donny. Nash was really well behaved, as he didn’t jump up on him or anything like that. Never pet a working guide dog A common misconception about guide dogs is that you can never pet them. Actually, you can never pet a working guide dog as the affection can be distracting to them. How do you know if

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