Location: New York
Type: Labrador Retriever
A friend of ours told us about dogs from the Guiding Eyes for the Blind in New York. This is a great organization that breeds and trains mostly Labrador Retrievers to help the blind become independent. But not every dog makes the cut. Some are “rejected” as nine-week-old puppies, and some are unable to complete the training after they are a year old. It is a long and expensive process, and those who train these dogs deserve our admiration.
Because the dogs are bred to be working dogs, they are usually intelligent and gentle. Those who fail the early tests are often found to need more love and attention than the independent dogs, who eventually become successful companions to the blind. Of course, these “failures” are perfect dogs for a loving family and the puppies are in great demand.
We filled out the application and waited four months before we finally got the call. A nine-week-old female was available, and we were asked if we were we still interested in adopting.
Elizabeth drove up the next day and entered the facility where one puppy was cuter than the next. Being the only female in the family of three boys, Elizabeth got to name our dog. She called her Eleanor (after Eleanor Roosevelt). Happily, we immediately dubbed her Ellie.
I came home from work that night to find the kids holding this cute little black pup, and of course I was smitten. We consider Ellie a full-fledged member of the family, and are grateful that she’s always available for a walk in the park or lounging by the fire. We couldn’t have been luckier to find her.