Leader Dogs for the Blind

leaderdogsA raiser’s job begins when the puppy is approximately 7-8 weeks of age. Accepted applicants pick up their bundle of joy at Leader Dogs for the Blind Kennel in Rochester, MI. From the moment the puppy is picked up, they are clay being molded by your actions looking to you for their care and guidance. This year long commitment is a significant contribution of time and energy on the part of a raiser. It is more than housebreaking and loving a puppy. The largest responsibility lies with the socialization aspect of raising a future leader dog. Founded in 1939 by Lions Club members, Charles Nutting, Don Schuur and S.A. Dodge, Leader Dog has successfully matched and graduated over 13,000 person / dog teams since its inception. The dream of these men became vision and independence for thousands. Creating a wonderful candidate for our program usually entails a great deal of socialization and exposure to a variety of adventures. The more the puppy sees and experiences during the first year of its life, the more adapting it will be to future experiences. Even simple, everyday environments are an essential part of socialization. One such example would be stairways. Most individuals don’t consider just how many different types exist. Carpeted, tiled, wood, open back, grated, spiraling, inside, outside are all potential surfaces or situations in which you could find stairs. A dog will interpret the feel and comfort level differently in each situation. Remember, a dog is seeing and feeling these things from a much different perspective than what people see. Raising a puppy for Leader Dog is a very rewarding activity, but is not a commitment to be taken lightly. Ideally the whole family should agree on and be a part of the interaction and process of raising the puppy. This dog in which time, love and energy will be spent on, will one day become the conduit that provides a legally blind individual the opportunity of independence. They will become responsible leaders and steadfast guides. It is vital they are provided the safe, loving and attentive home that will help them achieve these life goals. Leader Dogs for the Blind is supported by contributions from the public-Lions, Lioness and Leo Clubs; sororities; various public-supported agencies and private individuals. There is no charge for a Leader Dog or any part of the four-week training program. It costs the school approximately $20,000 for each team. Visit http://leaderdog.org for more information on the program.

Recycle for Sight

According to the World Health Organization, the eyesight of one-in-four people worldwide can be improved through the use of corrective lenses. In some developing countries, an eye exam can cost as much as a month’s salary. Many times, there is only one eye care physician available to service several hundred thousand people. A dramatic difference can be made in the life of a child or adult simply by donating a pair of unwanted eyeglasses. Stop by the East Troy Lions Lodge at 2077 Division St., East Troy to donate your unwanted glasses.