Guide Dogs Of America
The 3 beautiful dogs above are associated with the Guide Dogs of America program in Sylmar, Ca.
They are, from L to R: Tibet, Miyagi and Riker.
They were the visitors and subject of a recent Monrovia Canyon Park volunteer meeting.
It takes a special dog to make it through the 24 hour a day, 7 day a week training. If they are good enough, at about 2 years old, they are given free of charge to a blind or visually challenged man or woman to provide help, assistance and independence.
Equally amazing are the trainers, like Mary Deets above, who are with their dogs constantly. Taking them everywhere, socializing them for about a year and a half until the day they have to hand the dog over for additional training. They say goodbye with the very real possiblility that they will never see their constant companion again. I don't think I could do that.
Some dogs that don't make it as guide dogs or that are no longer guide dogs go on to other "careers" such as search and rescue or pet therapy. Tibet above works at Methodist Hospital in Arcadia.
Miyagi, center above, is the puppy in training. A couple more photo's of him tomorrow.
Guide Dogs of America website.