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Blog: JoAnna Lou
From Shelter Pup to Police Dog
N.Y. State trains homeless canines to join the police force
Recently, I was reading about a superstar police dog and discovered a really cool fact—about one-third of New York State's police dogs are rescues. This particular German Shepherd, Sgt. Harry J. Wheeler, was found wandering the streets of Brooklyn eight years ago. Fortunately, he was taken in by Glen Wild Animal Rescue, which thought his keen perception and protective nature would make him a...
Blog: 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...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Guide Dog to Reach Hiking Record
Lab leads man up all New Hampshire's 4,000-foot mountains
Only 46 people have climbed all of New Hampshire’s 4,000-foot mountains, but this weekend Randy Pierce and his trusty Yellow Labrador, Quinn, will attempt to become the first blind person and guide dog to accomplish this formidable challenge. As if that wasn't already an incredible accomplishment, they will have finished this goal in a single winter. Seven years ago, a disease rendered Randy...
Blog: Guest Posts
Must Read: Wonder Dog
The miracle and mystery of service dogs
There was a wonderful story in The New York Times Magazine ("Wonder Dog," Feb. 2, 2012) this weekend about a Golden Retriever named Chancer and a boy with fetal alcohol syndrome named Iyal. The story focuses on a truly compelling frontier in service dog training and placement—where dogs work with people suffering from “invisible disabilities.” Chancer was trained at 4 Paws Ability in Ohio,...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Memorial Service for Survivor War Dog
Lucky honored after five tours of duty and three battles with cancer
The nation lost an amazing war dog last September. Lucky served in five tours of duty in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kyrgyzstan. Even more incredible is the fact that the Belgian Malinois returned to work after successfully beating cancer not once, but twice. In 2010, Lucky received a Hometown Heroes award from the American Red Cross. During Lucky’s fifth tour last summer, his handler discovered a new...
Blog: 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...
Blog: Guest Posts
A Career Change for Caleb
A transition for our family
Well, I really did not anticipate I’d be using the words career change; in fact, I delayed writing this post just to avoid it. I take it very hard when one of my dogs is dropped; I feel for a second that I failed as a guide dog puppy raiser. For 13 months Caleb and I have been a team and to an outsider we look like we know what we’re doing. But truth be told, Caleb made the decision he does not...
Blog: Karen B. London
Postage Stamps of Dogs at Work
Issue date is January 20, 2012
In recognition of the many ways that working dogs contribute to human society, the United States Postal Service is issuing stamps featuring working dogs. This new set of four stamps illustrates some of the many important jobs that dogs do. The individuals portrayed are a guide dog, a dog who is tracking, a search and rescue dog and a therapy dog. The “Dogs at Work” stamps are the work of artist...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
K9 Crossing Guard
N.Y. dog helps children safely get to school
Kids in Greenwich, N.Y. have something to look forward to each day. When the children approach Main Street, on the way to school, Sophy, a German Shepherd-black Labrador mix, is there to greet them, along with volunteer crossing guard Clifford Mealy. Sophy has her own dog-sized “Stop” sign and leads the way as kids cross the busy street. It makes me a little nervous to see an off leash dog so...
Dog's Life: Work of Dogs
A Nose for Nature
Dogs help game wardens work
When she’s excited, Iris wags her whole body. Even the nylon tunnel can’t contain her delight. The black Lab disappears into the tunnel, and her joy becomes sound: slap, slap, slap, tail on tube. You’d never know it’s dark in there. Rusty, a smiling yellow Lab, and Ruger, a German Shepherd whose smile is hidden by the large toy in his mouth, can’t wait for whatever comes next. That turns out to...

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