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September is National Guide Dog Month

Sep 5, 2012

September marks National Guide Dog month

Dog owners don’t always consider the complete gift that a dog has to offer. While they are fluffy, cuddly, warm, and comforting, they are also intelligent and completely loyal to you and your needs. Despite what you might think, they are always concerned with your best interests. There are countless clips and memes throughout the world of dogs doing almost human-like acts such as protecting their owner’s bike while they’re in the store or even showing a little jealousy when another dog dives in for a pat on the head.

Dogs of all breeds and ages love to care for their companions (even if we usually consider ourselves the actual caretakers) and are always ready to take on the task of caring for their owner. Guide dogs have a specific job to do when it comes to ensuring their owner’s safety. It’s not easy to get around when you can’t see and not everyone has someone to help them get through the daily challenges that we all face. So, dogs are there to step up to the plate and take on the challenge of helping guide those who have difficulties in seeing the path before them.

This September celebrates the incredible gift that guide-dogs provide for their companions. Not everyone can see the world around them, but they can feel the comforts of having a faithful companion that will never leave their side and keep them safe.

After WWII, many guide-dog training agencies began to grow exponentially. Since then, there are numerous training facilities. Some are for profit while others are non-profit, but the purpose remains the same. In 2008, Dick Van Patten found his passion in helping to raise awareness and funds to help nurture and train guide dogs. While the need for such companions is high, the training needed to ensure that both owner and dog work well together is even higher. The average cost of raising and training a seeing-eye dog is almost 40,000 dollars. It usually takes two years with a professional family to help socialize, nurture, and properly train a guide dog before they can begin their work. For this reason, fundraising for non-profit organizations is needed.

Guide Dog Month was originally founded in 2009, marking the month of May. But in 2010, September was designated as Guide Dog Month in order to increase awareness and the fundraising needed to help benefit accredited non-profit guide-dog schools to ensure quality care of the dog and help provide the best companions for those who need their help the most.

One of the greatest gifts that these dogs provide is their companionship. There are countless numbers of guide-dog stories found throughout the internet, many of which are testimonials which exemplify the abilities of our four-legged companions and their capacity to help out those in need- even when they aren’t human.

Dale Stamper and Venture are like two peas in a pod when it comes to getting around. This veteran lost his sight serving his country, and now relies on his guide dog Venture to help him continue to experience the great things the world continues to offer.

Of course, there are some rather interesting stories of dogs that didn’t have any training but still have a knack for helping those in need, even if it is one of their own. Duke leads his mother Daisy around, rarely letting her out of his sight. If she does wander too far, she’ll sit and call out to him for help, which he is more than happy to oblige.

Then there are the rare occasions when even those that help need help. Guide dogs are still dogs and despite the care we provide and the love we offer, there are certain situations that cannot be avoided. Mr. Graham Waspe faced a rather unique situation in which his guide dog Edward also lost his sight. Rather than letting his companion go, he held onto him and they were joined by another seeing-eye dog, Opal. A great tale of what it truly means to be companions, this trio of pals is led on by Opal who now guides two companions rather than just one.

The most extraordinary thing about dogs is they are humble. They perform their duties, ensure our safety, and help us in countless ways. They never get the chance to toot their own horn, so we do it for them, which is why we write extraordinary tales of their loyalty and companionship. It’s important that we recognize the gift that guide dogs provide for their companions because without dogs, a big part of our lives would be missing.

Keeping up with your pet supplies can be just another thing you don’t want to have to remember.  After a long day at work and going to the store, the last thing you want to do is have to go “to the store” again.  Consider home delivery of your pet supplies!

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