In honor of National Guide Dog month I wanted to share a unique and touching story I found with you all.
This is Bonnie and Clyde:
They were found as strays and have a beautfiul friendship. Clyde is completely blind and Bonnie guides him everywhere. She stays inches from Clyde's side while guiding him on walks or to food and water. Bonnie even lets him rest his head on her body whenever he becomes disorientated and leads him in the direction they should be going.
Vicky Bell, a spokeswoman for Guide Dogs for the Blind Association, said she had never heard of a dog voluntarily acting as a guide dog for another dog. The article I found was written back in July 2009, so I wrote an email to see if the shelter was able to find a home to take both Bonnie and Clyde and they were! They are currently living in a home with a large fenced in backyard and the owner stated she sometimes forgets Clyde is blind because Bonnie is such a good leader!
Quick info on Guide Dogs:
Most guide dogs are provided free of charge. This includes training, transportation to and from the school, room and board during the 25-day training program, and aftercare services. Home-based, combination home and residential and small group training is offered to qualified applicants.
It costs more than $50,000 to complete the training of one guide dog. This includes all expenses from breeding to raising the dog to training it and matching it with a blind person.
Guide dogs undergo a comprehensive training program, and only the best of the best complete the training and become working guides. In short, guide dogs are taught how to find and follow a clear path, maneuver around obstacles, and stop at curbs. They follow their teammate's directions, and they know that they can disobey only in the face of danger.
During the training program, blind students first learn about the commands the dog knows. Over a several week period, they are taught everything there is to know about how to work with a guide dog. In addition, they learn about proper care of the dog, which ranges from feeding to grooming to medical issues. Access laws, public awareness and other issues also are covered during the 25-day program.
Lastly: Guide dogs should be ignored. Distractions take their concentration away from the work they have to do—which can put the dog and its teammate in jeopardy. Do not pet or feed a guide dog and do not encourage the dog to misbehave.
Want more information? Check out the Guide Dogs for the Blind website.
I would also like to thank Yoda from Barking out Loud for my Blog Award!