|Baylor is a handsome 20-month old labrador |
and golden retreiver cross.
Meet Baylor the new guide dog and companion to our friend Ron. I introduced you to Ron, his wife Tina and the Guide Dogs for the Blind in a previous post and am happy to bring you an update about Ron’s new guide dog, Baylor.
Ron and Tina are blog readers that we met for lunch one day and instantly liked them. We spent two hours getting to know them and became fast friends. Ron's previous guide dog died a short time ago and he was in the pipeline to get another dog when we met him. We were excited for Ron to meet his new companion and asked them to please keep us updated. After all, we are dog people.
Tina emailed me letting us know that Ron is currently in San Rafael, California meeting Baylor and the bonding has well begun. About the experience Tina wrote, “He's getting along great with Baylor. When they first get their guides they use "tie down" at night, which is simply a lead that is attached to the leg of their (human) bed, that is clipped to the dog's collar, so they learn to stay close to their new person and don't wander away during the night. Ron woke up this morning to find Baylor ON the bed with him, with the lead stretched taut--there was just enough length to allow him to sneak up onto the bed.” Way to go Baylor!
Guide Dogs for the Blind is an incredible organization that we have become more familiar with thanks to Ron. Numerous times we have seen people with these special dogs, but hearing Ron’s story compelled me investigate the organization deeper. So I put my fingers to the keyboard and started the internet search. No question, this organization has an amazing mission that deeply affects and transforms people’s lives. These animals are trained to do tasks and behave in such a way that allows sight impaired individuals to conquer tasks that they would not be able to do (or comfortable doing) by themselves.
|Ron posing in front of an adorable puppy. ( Ron you are cute too but girls just dig adorable lab puppies.)|
But what is really amazing about this organization is that their services are free – which extends well beyond the pup – and is supported entirely by donations. Those who qualify for a dog must attend a two-week session at one of the training campuses in San Rafael or Boring, Oregon. Here individuals meet their prospective dog where they get to know them and work with them. The campuses house students for two weeks in dormitory facilities which include dining rooms, libraries, computer centers, exercise rooms, and social areas. And from what Ron tells us – excellent food! During this time, there is extensive training where instructors work with prospective dog owners and dogs to ensure that the newly formed team is compatible in every way – from communication styles to personalities. After two weeks, if the two are a match then the deal is done. (Photos courtesy of Guide Dogs for Blind website.)
|Private rooms open to a sitting area and large play/exercise yard.|
|Guide Dogs get excellent veterinary care and screenings.|
We are so happy for Ron and Baylor and can’t wait to meet him. If you know someone who is sight impaired and is in need of a Guide Dog, please pass along this information and their website. Ron and Tina speak so highly of the organization and testify to the benefit of having a Guide Dog . . . or as Guide Dogs for the Blind calls them “soul mates.”