Guide Dogs Graduate; Go Home to New Families
Photo: Video by kmir6.com
White Water - It was a special day for six lucky dogs and their new humans. That’s because they graduated with honors from a special program. They graduated from Guide Dogs of the Desert, a facility that raises and trains pups to be seeing-eye dogs for the handicapped; in this case, all of the recipients were blind. "I’m ready to burst into tears again. I'm so happy about this,” says Kim Williams. She lives in San Diego and is taking home one of the graduates.
The theme of the day was a second chance at life. "Today is a new beginning. It's appropriate that it's spring time because spring brings renewal and fresh starts,” says Director of Guide Dogs of the Desert Kim Laidlaw. "This is the experience of a lifetime. I'm so emotional. I have a second chance at life,” says Williams.
Brendan Doyle went blind just two years ago after a slip and fall accident took his sight. He's going home with Abe, a chocolate Lab graduate that was born and raised in Banning. "I felt that my life was over till I came here,” says Doyle. Linda Vieira raised Abe from birth, and says she couldn't be happier to send him off where he will be loved, appreciated and doing great work to help Doyle. "He saved his life. People ask all the time, how can you give them up, and this is how,” says Vieira. She says she can already see the change in Doyle’s life. "Such pride; I am so proud of Abe. He's already made such a difference in Brendan’s life and Abe was such a wonderful puppy to raise and he's going to make a wonderful companion to Brendan,” says Vieira.
Laidlaw likens GDOD pup graduation to sending your kids to college. "Being able to teach them, give them the tools they need to be successful and then watch them go out into the world and do great things,” says Laidlaw. She says these pups are ready for the world. "Abe has saved my life by putting his body between me and the vehicles on the road,” says Doyle. "It's a lifetime of joy. I'm speechless,” adds Williams.
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