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News: Guest Posts
Career Moves
Inspired by 9/11
Jim Kessler has worked at the Seeing Eye school in Morristown, New Jersey over a dozen years now, and when I was training with my Seeing Eye dog Whitney, I happened to ask if he’d had any other jobs before this one. His answer was surprising. “I worked for Lehman Brothers until it imploded, and then I worked at the Federal Reserve,” he said. “And I can tell you the very last day I ever went to...
News: Guest Posts
Guide Dog Makes a Good Fitness Partner
Without being able to drive, I’ve always thought that blind people and our guide dogs—especially those of us who live in big cities—must walk more than the average person-and-dog team does. A new wellness program at my workplace gave me a chance to prove it. I work part time at Easter Seals Headquarters in downtown Chicago, and in June they started a six-week “Walk For U, Go The Extra Mile”...
News: Guest Posts
What Colors Do Dogs See?
Explaining a Seeing Eye dog’s vision to children
Whitney and I visited a school on the North Side of Chicago recently, and for some reason the first and second graders seemed particularly interested in color blindness. When one of them asked me if it’s true that dogs can only see black and white, I explained that dogs do see some colors, but they can’t tell the difference between red and green. “If we’re at an intersection with a stoplight, it...
News: Guest Posts
Guide Dog Puppies in the Classroom
It's never too early to learn about these great dogs
My Seeing Eye dog and I visit elementary schools to teach kids about disabilities, service dogs and teamwork. During my talks with the kids, I explain three rules to keep in mind if you happen to see a guide dog with a harness on: Don’t pet the dog Don’t feed the dog. Don’t call out the dog’s name. The students at the school I visited recently seem nonplussed by these rules. They’d...
News: Guest Posts
Beth Welcomes a New Seeing Eye Dog
And tackles the downside of a “smart bump”
You’d think having a new guide dog memorize routes and anticipate turns at corners would be the goal. But it’s not. Here’s how it’s supposed to work: I have the route memorized. I know how many streets we have to go forward before we turn left, then how many streets until we turn right again to get to our destination. Whitney, my new two-year-old Labrador/Golden Retriever cross, guides me...
News: Guest Posts
When a Seeing Eye Dog Gets Off Track
A near-accident and a broken foot lead to a career change for Harper
My third Seeing Eye dog is probably the smartest one I’ve ever worked with. Harper learned early on that drivers aren’t looking out for us. He knows we could get hurt out there. So he refuses to lead me far from home. Harper wasn’t always this way. When we went out with our instructor during training last December, Seeing Eye staff were out and about in vehicles, intentionally cutting in front...
News: Guest Posts
Thunder Dog [Update]
Famed Guide Dog of 9/11 remembered in new book
Ten years ago, Guide Dog Roselle, a three-year-old yellow Labrador Retriever, was sleeping under a desk on the 78th floor of Tower One of the World Trade Center. Her partner, Michael Hingson, was preparing for a routine training meeting when he heard the explosion. The date: September 11, 2001. Stairs were the only way out. So Michael Hingson, who is blind from birth, worked in tandem with...
News: Guest Posts
Beth and Harper Discover Height Matters
Seeing Eye dog and handler tackle new hurdles on the road to recovery
[Editor's note: Frequent Bark blogger Beth Finke recently broke her foot and has been keeping us posted about what it means for her and her Seeing Eye dog, Harper. Read installments I and II in what we’re unofficially calling the “broken foot chronicles” and her most recent update, below.] I’m in orthopedic shoes now—a real relief after eight weeks in a cast! Harper seems relieved, too. No...
News: Guest Posts
Beth Decides What to Do about her Sidelined Seeing Eye Dog
Part 2 of the “broken foot chronicles”
A post I wrote for the blog earlier this month, I'd been toying with sending my Seeing Eye dog back to Morristown while I recovered from my broken foot. I knew Harper would get regular workouts with Seeing Eye trainers in Morristown, but I also worried what a temporary move back to Seeing Eye School might do to Harper’s mental health. Not to mention mine. A few days after that post was...
News: Guest Posts
What’s a Seeing Eye Dog Do When his Human Breaks her Foot?
Harper’s backup plan
What happens to a Seeing Eye dog if their human companion gets hurt, or sick? Do they lose their skills while waiting for the person to recover? That’s one question I hoped I’d never have to answer. But then last month I broke my foot. I swim laps two or three times each week. Tapping the lane marker with every other stroke keeps me swimming straight, and limiting myself to the crawl stroke...

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