Cane Quest at Leader Dog
Leader Dogs for the Blind
by Jennifer Wilkinson
1M ago
White Cane Safety Day is celebrated every year on October 15! This day celebrates the white cane as an essential tool that gives individuals who are blind or visually impaired a life full of independence. The white cane provides people who are traveling without sight the information they need to navigate through their environment safely. This year, Leader Dog celebrated White Cane Safety Day by hosting the second annual Michigan Cane Quest! Cane Quest, created by the Braille Institute, is a competition of cane skills for students who are blind or visually impaired. This year we had 13 student ..read more
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Voice of the Leader Dog Community: Jill
Leader Dogs for the Blind
by Jennifer Wilkinson
1M ago
NOTE: Today’s posts are a reprinting of an article titled “How Not to Be Awkward around Your Disabled Colleagues/Students” written by Jill Hinton Wolfe of Grand Valley State University that was originally published on HigherEdJobs.com. I know all about awkward — being visually impaired means I deal with awkwardness in almost every stranger interaction I have. October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month, so I want to take the opportunity to talk about what it means, to me, to be a blind person working in higher education. Currently, I serve as the Military and Veterans Resource Ma ..read more
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Three Journeys with Leader Dogs
Leader Dogs for the Blind
by Jennifer Wilkinson
1M ago
Fifteen years ago I began my journey to receive my first Leader Dog, Callie. [Guide Dog Mobility] Instructor Sue guided me through the new experience of learning the commands, what the dog is capable of in times of any difficult path that was before me. Callie was very curious and loved to smell the fresh flowers along our paths. Ten years later, my first dog retired and I was once again on the journey for my second dog, Hanna, with instructor Kate. She helped me to understand the need to sharpen my skills working with a new leader dog. Hanna was full of energy and determination to show me wh ..read more
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Voice of the Leader Dog Community: Pauline
Leader Dogs for the Blind
by Jennifer Wilkinson
2M ago
This entry in the Voices of the Leader Dog Community was submitted by Lion Alescia “AJ” Johns, who titled her piece “Pauline’s Big Adventure.” The person she is referring to is LDB client Pauline Ulrey. Pauline has been living life with a Leader Dog by her side for 59 years – the longest of any current Leader Dog client! Pauline Ulrey and her first Leader Dog, Danny, in 1963. For several years Pauline was a LDB graduate field representative, which is referenced in one of the posts. In this position, Pauline traveled throughout the U.S. and Canada educating people about Leader Dog, our programs ..read more
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Voice of the Leader Dog Community: Helaine
Leader Dogs for the Blind
by Jennifer Wilkinson
3M ago
Hello. I’m Helaine and my Leader Dog #2 is Zara; we were matched in April of this year. I waited a very long time for Zara due to Covid and the brutal Texas heat! It was very hard to be without my first Leader Dog, Chapman, and meeting Zara at the Leader Dog campus and having Linda [Fisher] as my instructor again after 14 years was a gift like no other! I lost most of my vision in 2003 when I had a stroke. The blood clot hit my occipital nerve and the rest, as they say, is history. After working in commercial real estate for many years, I had to redefine and rearrange my life. I tried return ..read more
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Gary Sinise Foundation + Leader Dog
Leader Dogs for the Blind
by Jennifer Wilkinson
3M ago
Gary Sinise Foundation Provides $350,000 Grant to Leader Dogs for the Blind to Benefit America’s Veterans and First Responders On National Assistance Dog Day, the Gary Sinise Foundation announced a $350,000 grant to Leader Dogs for the Blind to support our service of veterans, defenders and first responders who are blind or visually impaired with highly skilled guide dogs. “The Gary Sinise Foundation is proud to expand our efforts of support to our nation’s veterans, defenders and first responders, specifically those experiencing blindness or vision loss,” said Mike Thirtle, CEO of the Gary S ..read more
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We Can’t Do It Without You
Leader Dogs for the Blind
by Jennifer Wilkinson
4M ago
If you’ve ever donated to Leader Dog, served as a volunteer, attended one of our events, hosted a fundraiser or supported Leader Dog in the many big and small ways that people do every day, you’ve probably heard us say something like this: “We couldn’t do it without you.” You make our mission possible. You can make [something] happen. You can make a difference, an impact. You can change a life.  Our mission needs you. We need your help. We can’t do it without you. You may feel like we’re always asking you for something. The reality is we are constantly depending on people to decide that ..read more
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ProPlan: Fueling Leader Dogs for 20 Years
Leader Dogs for the Blind
by Jennifer Wilkinson
4M ago
“It takes a pretty remarkable dog to make my travels unremarkable, but that is exactly what my Leader Dog Wake does for me. It is incredible.” – LDB Client Calvin V Travel of any kind relies on fuel. Airliners burn jet fuel, automobiles consume gasoline (or battery-provided electric power for you early-adopters) and locomotives have transitioned from coal to diesel as their main source of propulsion. Leader Dogs, for more than two decades, have received the energy necessary for their travels from Purina ProPlan dog food. “We feed exclusively ProPlan products to our breeding moms and their p ..read more
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A Million Thank Yous!
Leader Dogs for the Blind
by Jennifer Wilkinson
4M ago
By Stuart M., Orientation & Mobility Client I wanted to take a moment and reflect on & thank you for a truly life-changing experience for me. From the moment I connected with you, I could tell that Leader Dogs was a friendly and inviting place.  I so appreciate all of the above-and-beyond efforts that were made to ensure I was comfortable and prepared as I came to Leader Dogs. I am truly grateful to have gained such valuable skills that I am now putting into practice on a daily basis. I feel so much more at peace with my day-to-day and have embraced life with a cane. Thank you to ..read more
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Voice of the Leader Dog Community: Karen
Leader Dogs for the Blind
by Jennifer Wilkinson
4M ago
Learning to train with my guide dog was intense, fun and satisfying. Having her in my life… a blessing. However, being out in public with an AUTHENTIC service dog can be emotionally hurtful and draining at times. So, when I was asked to participate in Voices of the Leader Dog Community, I knew exactly what I wanted to say. I wrote my posts to be educational and to express the importance of understanding the needs of a low vision or non-visual human. I feel the topics of understanding, compassion and etiquette are quite important. I hope you will be enlightened. Some ideas may shock you. That i ..read more
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