Time for a Seeing Eye or Guide Dog?

Every dog who helps a blind owner is not necessarily a Seeing Eye dog. The Seeing Eye is a registered trademark for the now famous dog program started in 1929.

Dogs trained in other programs are called guide dogs. Guide Dogs for the Blind is another well known school for dogs and people.

The Seeing Eye program breeds its own dogs – German Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers. When they are 8 weeks old, the dogs are placed in the homes of trained volunteers who provide basic training, socialization and lots and lots of love and attention. The dog then goes through another four month course at The Seeing Eye before it is placed with a blind owner.

The dog and the new owner go through 27 days of training together. You can easily see that this is an involved process, and is not as simple as most people think. The Seeing Eye program is not a government program, but is funded by private donations. The cost to the blind person is only $150 which covers the dog, the training, air fare and room and board for the training session. This fee has remained the same since 1934. The $150 can even be broken down into payments, if necessary. You can donate to the Seeing Eye Program online.

Tomorrow I will tell you a little about the Guide Dogs for the Blind program — but before I leave, a quick reminder, if you will —

If you see someone with a Seeing Eye Dog in a restaurant, hospital, shopping mall — do not be surprised or alarmed. The law in all 50 states allows these dogs to accompany their owners. Do not grab the dog, the owner or the dog’s harness. The dog is working. You can ask the owner for permission to pet the dog if you like. The biggest problem for dog owners is interference from the public. Please be aware of this problem and act accordingly.

More tomorrow —

About jta

South Carolina grandmother who loves to write, dance, and visit with friends and family.
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8 Responses to Time for a Seeing Eye or Guide Dog?

  1. Joan Adams says:

    I am researching a bit, John. Whitey’s companion dog is getting very old. and we might have to consider this. In my opinion, there is no point in us getting another dog unless we get a guide dog. Though both goldens we have had have been wonderful protection and help for Whitey, as we age, he may need a more thoroughly trained dog. Food for thought. It is my understanding he would have to go there to the school for almost a month — just hard to imagine that.

  2. bevspaper says:

    These are wonderful programs! I have a friend who has had a Seeing Eye dog most of her life and the bond between them is just incredible. Actually because she got one when she was so very young she is on dog number 3 or 4 now. She was born prematurely and only weighed 1 lb and 13 ounces. She was kept in an incubator for several months and the oxygen used back then literally ate her sight cells away. They looked into eye transplants but because of the damage that wasn’t feasible and that is when they went with the Seeing Eye Dog program.

    The cool thing is that she grew up to be one very remarkable woman! Independent, strong, and giving. She has certainly taught me a lot through the years.
    .-= bevspaper´s last blog ..Listen To The Drum by Blackwolf Jones and Gina Jones =-.

  3. Joan Adams says:

    Thank you, Bev. That’s encouraging to hear! I am just starting to research this, and so far am pleased with the possibilities. We had always been told by friends that we spoil our dogs too much to be successful with this, but from what I read today, we could still spoil a dog as long as he/she is not wearing her work clothes!

  4. bevspaper says:

    Deana’s dogs have always been able to distinguish between when they were working and when they weren’t. Loving companions who help her be as normal as you or I. Sure the dogs were trained but it seems to work so much better when it goes beyond the training and becomes a chore of love for the dog. Those dogs all adored her and she them.
    .-= bevspaper´s last blog ..Listen To The Drum by Blackwolf Jones and Gina Jones =-.

  5. Joan Adams says:

    Thank you, Bev! I am sure we are guilty of “over-loving” our dogs if that is possible, but I cannot imagine having a dog in the house we could not love on all the time! Sounds like we might just be able to do this!

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