Ashleigh Hertzig and Yuri.
Have you ever seen a visually impaired person in public and didn’t know how to react, or felt awkward? Have you ever wondered what it’s like to ‘see’ through the eyes of their guide dog?
Guide dogs provide a social bridge, opening a world of possibilities for friendship and human connection, all while showcasing the incredible capabilities of man’s best friend.
This month, Natural Balance (the pet food company) and Guide Dogs for the Blind (a non-profit charitable organization that raises and trains exceptional guide dogs and serves the blind or visually impaired) have partnered up to spread awareness about the incredible bond between people who are blind and their guide dogs.
September’s National Guide Dog Month was inspired by Natural Balance’s co-founder Dick Van Patten, who was blindfolded during a visit to a guide dog school and got to experience how these amazing creatures provide mobility to the visually impaired.
The nine human-canine teams below are outstanding examples of the profound, inspiring partnerships that humans and their dogs are capable of—and something all dog lovers could aspire to.
-- Ashleigh Hertzig + Yuri (New York, N.Y.) Ashleigh’s guide dog Yuri has given her the confidence to fulfill her dream of moving to New York City and working in the heart of Times Square.
-- Bruce Gilmour + Marley (Vancouver, Canada) Bruce’s guide dog Marley helps him live a free and spontaneous lifestyle by opening many doors for him—both literally and figuratively.
-- David Cooper + Parnelli (New York, N.Y.) David has a successful career in the financial industry in sales, which requires considerable travel, with Parnelli as his travel partner.
-- Maia Scott + Fiddler (San Francisco, Calif.) Maia’s guide dog Fiddler gave her the strength to make a big career change—she is now a teacher of theatre and art to people with disabilities
-- Maile George + Jasmine (Concord, Calif.) Maile’s guide dog Jasmine has given her the courage to enjoy volunteer work, take classes, and make new friends.
-- Mary Kozy + Regina (Huntley, Ill.) Mary’s guide dog Regina gives her the mobility to enjoy her favorite activities, be it Scrabble, walks to the farmers market, or trips to the lake.
-- Melissa Hudson + Camry (Los Angeles, CA) Melissa’s guide dog Camry has accompanied her around three continents: North America, Europe, and Asia.
-- Michelle Yoo + Oscar (San Pablo, Calif) Together, this dynamic duo tackles grueling college classes with grace, charm, and lots of belly rubs.
-- Tom Kowalski + Dynamo (San Ramon, Calif.) Tom and his energetic guide dog Dynamo walk 40-50 miles every week to stay in shape.
For more information about Natural Balance’s support for National Guide Dog Month, visit: https://www.naturalbalanceinc.com/GuideDogs.