Offering Independence: Leader Dogs for the Blind

Leader Dogs for the Blind pic
Leader Dogs for the Blind
Image: leaderdog.org

Margaret Ann Dimond, assistant professor at Michigan State University, is a dog lover, having fostered and placed over 45 dogs. Seeing the potential in having a canine companion, and always a champion for the rights and safety of our four legged friends, Margaret Ann Dimond supports Leader Dogs for the Blind, an organization founded almost 80 years ago to empower those with visual and hearing disabilities by returning their independence.

Leader Dogs for the Blind sees each client as an individual, and seeks to provide the perfect dog to assist with all specific needs. Those who have difficulty with mobility can participate in the organization’s training program in order to orient them with their new companion. For young people, a summer camp offers them a chance to spend time with their peers while developing their independence. GPS devices are also available for those who are hesitant about venturing outside of their comfort zone.

The dogs raised to be leader dogs go through various training programs to prepare them for this important job. They are trained to handle many types of weather, terrain, and situations, and are often raised by volunteers. For the first year of their life, leader dogs are learning new things each and every day and are expected to be very well socialized and housebroken. A guide dog is a friend that can certainly change the lives of clients as well as volunteers.

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