Bowtie and Scarf Monday

Tie One On for the Cause

This Week's Cause: Guide Dogs for the Blind

Since 1942, Guide Dogs for the Blind (GDB) has empowered lives by creating exceptional partnerships among people, dogs, and communities.

GDB is a passionate community that serves the visually impaired. With exceptional client services and a robust network of trainers, puppy raisers, donors, and volunteers, GDB prepares highly qualified guide dogs to serve and empower individuals who are blind or have low vision.

GDB is the largest guide dog school in the country. One of its training facilities is in Boring, Oregon. GDB has more than 1,400 puppy raising families. More than 12,500 teams have graduated since its founding, and there are 2,100 active GDB guide dog teams currently in the field. All services are provided free of charge; GDB receives no government funding.

Contributions can be made in the office of the Vice President for Student Services (110).

What are the unique abilities of Guide Dogs?

In addition to learning how to lead a person safely around obstacles, Guide Dogs are also trained in "intelligence disobedience": if they are given an unsafe command, they are taught to not obey it (for example: refusing to step out into the street when there is oncoming traffic).

Some of the skills Guide Dogs learn include:

  • Leading a person in a straight line from point A to point B
  • Stopping for all changes in elevation, including curbs and stairs
  • Stopping for overhead obstacles, such as tree limbs
  • Avoiding obstacles in their path

Guide Dogs take their cues and commands from their human partners; it's up to the person to determine the routes they take and if it is safe to cross a street.

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