Not only are dogs our loving pets, but they can also be heroes that make a difference in people’s lives every single day. In honor of the guide dogs that have changed the lives of those with disabilities, April 29th is International Guide Dog Day. Guide dogs are dedicated to their work, and without them, many could not do simple daily activities that most people take for granted. Their work has saved countless lives, and they serve a huge role in our communities. In honor of these heroic dogs, here are ten inspirational stories of how guide dogs have changed the lives of individuals for the better.
1. Blind Teenager Finds Hope Again
At five years old Nathan got arthritis, and soon after, the inflammation affected his eyesight. Fourteen years later, he became fully blind. He felt like he wouldn’t be able to go on, but that’s when his family decided to get a guide dog, and it changed his life. When Nathan met Hudson, it was the most amazing day, and he even cried because of how emotional the experience was. Hudson has turned Nathan’s life around. Now Nathan has the confidence to go out and the motivation to continue living even with the loss of his sight. Hudson is more than just a guide dog, he is Nathan’s best friend.
2. Blind Girl Runs Cross Country With Guide Dog
Sami is just like your everyday sixteen year old, except Sami is blind. However, that hasn’t stopped Sami from running cross country. Before going blind in 8th grade, she loved to run, but she didn’t want to stop because of her disability. Because of her guide dog, Chloe, she is able to continue doing what she loves. Chloe runs with Sami for miles and trains with Sami on a daily basis. Because of Chloe, Sami is able to continue doing cross country with her school, and now the team has an extra four legged member.
3. Blind Couple Gain More Freedom
Both Chen and her husband are blind. In their family, Jenny is their only means of sight. Jenny is extremely smart and has given them more freedom to live normally. For example, when Chen goes to the grocery store, Jenny will find the yogurt with a simple command. If it’s the right brand, Jenny will sit, and if it’s not, she will stay standing. In China, there is not much of an understanding of blindness, so Chen is helping get the word out about the importance of guide dogs.
4. Guide Dog Saves Man From Train Tracks
Ten-year-old guide dog Orlando was with his owner, Cecil, when he fainted and fell on the train tracks. Rather than staying put, Orlando leaped into action, doing exactly what he was trained to do. He jumped down to be by his owner’s side on the tracks, barking frantically to alert bystanders. Thankfully Cecil only had a couple of cuts from falling, and both of them survived. Orlando is now retired, but thanks to crowdfunding Cecil was able to keep him and they are inseparable.
5. Guide Dogs Change Two Parents’ Lives
Mollie and Jeffery have two separate stories, but they are very similar as they are both parents who happen to be blind. Being a mom, Mollie was scared her blindness would make life difficult for her children. But her children completely understand, and they love their mom’s guide dog like family. Jeffrey has two children and his guide dog made it possible for him to be more independent so he could spend more time with his children. Both Mollie and Jeffrey are able raise their children and be normal parents because of the help of their guide dogs.
6. Guide Dog Helps Owner Overcome Fear
Tracey’s life has changed because of her guide dog Gordon. She is much more open to the possibility of new adventures and getting out than she was before. Gordon guides her during the peak hours of traffic during her commute and helps her find her way in the dark after getting out of work. Gordon has changed the way she thinks about her life and has restored her faith in herself. Before Gordon Tracey didn’t venture out, but now nothing can stop her because of her guide dog.
7. Guide Dogs Bring True Love
Mark and Claire are both blind and met while they were getting their guide dogs. The dogs they were training with kept pulling towards each other, so they started talking. Because of their guide dogs, the two started going on dates and it was a perfect match because they loved hanging out, and so did their pups. It was great because they felt like they could understand each other since they both had the same disability. Eventually Mark proposed, and it’s all thanks to their guide dogs.
8. Blind Woman’s Life Changing Decision
Cassandra used to rely on a cane to get around, but it was not always the most effective way of dodging obstacles because her response time was not fast enough. Getting a guide dog was a life changing decision. Her Labrador Retriever guide dog named Esme is able to keep her walking on an obstacle free path. She prevents her from walking into lamp posts or crowds of people, which happened much more frequently with her cane. Now Cassandra feels much safer.
9. Blind Dog Gets Guide Dog
This two-year-old Golden Retriever has been blind since birth. But now, Tanner has a guide dog of his very own–his one-year-old friend Blair, the Labrador Retriever. After being taken in by a Golden Retriever rescue group things looked bad until Blair showed up. Blair was brought in with a gunshot wound after being on the street and the two immediately took to each other. It’s as if it was destiny these two dogs were to meet. Now they are best friends, and Tanner’s seizures have even calmed down since they’ve been together.
10. Guide Dog Helps Owner Travel
Devyn has made traveling much easier for Caitlin. Before her guide dog, Caitlin had to put in all the work, making what is simple travel to the rest of us extremely difficult. Because of Devyn, Caitlin doesn’t have to work as hard. Devyn does the work in navigating around obstacles and makes Caitlin more certain that she is not going to hit anything. She has the reassurance that someone else is helping her, and it’s not just her trying to figure it out by herself.
Do you have an inspirational guide dog story? Let us know and leave a comment below!