Dogs are not only our loving pets, but they can also be heroes who make a difference in people’s lives every day. In honor of the guide dogs that have changed the lives of people with disabilities, the last Wednesday of April is International Day of Guide Dogs.
Service dogs are dedicated to their jobs and without them many would not be able to do simple daily activities that most people take for granted. Their work has saved countless lives and they play an important role in our communities.
In honor of International Guide Dog Day, here are nine inspiring stories of how heroic guide dogs for the blind changed the lives of individuals for the better.
1. Blind teenager finds hope again
At the age of six Nathan developed uveitis and shortly afterwards the inflammation affected his eyesight. Fourteen years later, he went completely blind.
He felt like he couldn’t go any further, but then his family decided to get a guide dog for the blind and that changed his life.
When Nathan met Hudson, it was the most amazing day, and he even cried because of the emotional experience. Hudson changed Nathan’s life.
Nathan gained the confidence to go outside and the motivation to continue living, even with the loss of his eyesight. Hudson was more than just a guide dog, he became Nathan’s best friend.
2. Blind girl runs across the country with guide dog
Sami was just like your regular sixteen-year-old, except Sami was blind. That didn’t stop her from running cross country, though.
Before she went blind in eighth grade, she loved to run, but she wouldn’t stop because of her disability. Her guide dog Chloe allowed her to continue doing what she loved.
Chloe ran for miles with Sami and trained with her daily. Thanks to Chloe, Sami was able to continue racing with her school, and the team got an extra four-legged friend.
3. Guide dog saves man from train tracks
Ten-year-old guide dog Orlando was with his human, Cecil, when the man passed out and fell onto the train tracks. Instead of sitting down, Orlando sprang into action and did exactly what he was trained to do.
He jumped down to stand next to his human on the rails, barking frantically to warn bystanders. Fortunately, Cecil only suffered a few cuts from falling, and they both survived.
Orlando retired from his duties, but crowdfunding allowed Cecil to keep him and they became inseparable.
4. Guide dogs change the lives of two parents
Mollie and Jeffery have two separate stories, but they are very similar because they were both parents who happened to be blind.
As a mother, Mollie feared that her blindness would make life difficult for her children. But her children fully understood and they loved their mother’s guide dog as a family.
Jeffrey’s guide dog made it possible for him to be more independent so that he could spend more time with his two children.
Both Mollie and Jeffrey were able to raise their children and be the parents they wanted to be with the help of their guide dogs.
5. Guide dog helps man overcome his fear
Tracey’s life was changed for the better by her guide dog Gordon. She was much more open to the possibility of new adventures and outings than before.
Gordon accompanied her on her commute during rush hours and helped her find her way in the dark after she got home from work. The dog changed the way Tracey felt about her life and restored her confidence in herself.
For Gordon, Tracey didn’t dare, but now nothing can stop her because of her guide dog.
6. Guide dogs bring true love
Mark and Claire, both blind, got to know each other while getting their guide dogs for the blind. The dogs they trained with kept pulling towards each other, so the two people started talking.
Because of their guide dogs, the two started going on dates, and it was a perfect match because they loved to hang out, and so did their puppies. It was great because they felt they could understand each other because they both had the same disability.
Finally, Mark suggested, and it’s all thanks to their guide dogs.
7. A Blind Woman’s Life-Changing Decision
Cassandra always relied on a cane to get around, but it wasn’t always the most effective way to dodge obstacles because her reaction time wasn’t fast enough. Getting a guide dog was a life-changing decision.
Her Labrador Retriever guide dog named Esme was able to walk her on an obstacle-free path. She made sure that Kassandra didn’t bump into lampposts or crowds of people, which she often did with her cane.
Kassandra felt much safer as Esme led her way.
8. Blind dog gets guide dog
Tanner, the two-year-old Golden Retriever, was blind from birth. But he found a guide dog of his own — his one-year-old friend Blair, the Labrador Retriever.
After being taken care of by a rescue group of Golden Retrievers, things looked rough until Blair showed up. Blair was brought in with a gunshot wound after being out on the street, and the two immediately contacted each other.
It’s as if it was destiny that these two dogs would meet. They became best friends and Tanner’s attacks calmed down even once they were together.
9. Guide Dog Helps People Travel
Devyn the guide dog made travel much easier for his human, Caitlin. What may have seemed easy to the rest of us became extremely difficult for her and required a lot of effort before meeting her guide dog.
Devyn made sure Caitlin didn’t have to work so hard. The dog did the job of navigating around obstacles, making Caitlin more confident she wouldn’t hit anything.
She was given the reassurance that someone else was helping her instead of trying to find out for herself.
Do you like to celebrate guide dogs on International Guide Dog Day? Do you have an inspiring guide dog story? Let us know and leave a comment below!