As regular readers probably know, Daisy is a brand ambassador for Natural Balance Pet Foods and they are a big sponsor of our blog. We’re super excited to partner with Natural Balance to help raise awareness and support during National Guide Dog Month.
Guide Dog Month was inspired by Natural Balance co-founder, Dick Van Patten, who was impressed by the intelligence and training of guide dogs. During a visit to a local guide dog school, he was blindfolded and experienced how guide dogs provide mobility and assistance to visually impaired and blind people. After learning about the costs, dedication and commitment to raise and train a guide dog, he was inspired to help raise awareness and support the cause.
I’ve known from early on that Daisy and I have a close bond, but we are truly inspired by the amazing bond between people who are blind and their guide dogs. In addition to providing enhanced mobility for their handlers, guide dogs can also be a social bridge, opening a world of possibilities for friendship and human connection.
Meet Michelle and Oscar. They are just one of the many human-canine teams with inspiring and life-changing stories!
Born with glaucoma, Michelle spent a big part of her young life unable to navigate the world around her. Later, when Michelle became more mobile, it came with its fair share of bumps and bruises. Lacking depth perception, she lived in a constant state of discomfort and found it increasingly difficult to get around.
Around the same time that she started her undergraduate degree in psychology, Michelle made the split second decision to apply for Guide Dogs for the Blind program, and she has never looked back. From the get go, Michelle knew that the program had done a marvelous job in matching her with her beautiful golden guide dog Oscar—they immediately fell into step with each other, and within two months knew they had a lifelong partnership.
Even more surprising was the sheer number of people who approached Michelle on the first day of the new semester. The questions on everyone’s lips were: “Who is your furry friend?”, “Where can I get one?”, and of course “Can I pet him?” With this positive attention, the pair was able to walk with confidence everyday—whether it be on a small grocery shopping trip or a longer trip to visit Michelle’s sister in Los Angeles. Together, the two tackle intense psychology and jiu jitsu classes, but always leave room for playtime. Michelle and Oscar are primed to tackle deadlines and take the mental health field by storm.
Natural Balance is partnering with Guide Dogs for the Blind to help support the work they do. Since 1942, Guide Dogs for the Blind has empowered lives by creating exceptional partnerships between people, dogs and communities. They’ve got the largest Guide Dog school in the country and are dedicated to providing high quality student training services with extensive follow-up support for graduates.
- Services are provided to students from the United States and Canada at no cost to them.
- More than 14,000 teams have graduated since their founding.
- Approximately 2,200 active guide dog teams are currently in the field.
YOU can help support the life-changing mission of Guide Dogs for the Blind in 2 easy steps:
- Help raise awareness by sharing this post on Facebook, Twitter and/or Pinterest
- Donate to Guide Dogs for the Blind
Meet other amazing human-canine teams and read their stories at: http://www.naturalbalanceinc.com/GuideDogs.