Guide Dogs for the blind help blind people live independent lives
We have all heard the saying ‘a dog is a man’s best friend’ and this is for a very good reason, especially when it comes to the fantastic work these beautiful Guide Dogs put into helping assist a person with visual impairment.
What does Guide Dogs for the Blind Do?
The Guide dogs charity breed their own puppies in Leamington Spa, they have the facility to breed up to 1500 puppies a year but this is not your usual puppy breeding farm these pups are cared for by a team of volunteer carers who help socialise them and introduce them to many different sights and sounds. You can visit the breeding centre for a tour or visit the Guide Dog web site for more information.
Being a Guide dog is hard work and requires a very particular temperament and ability to learn, so it's not surprising that not all puppies graduate Guide Dog school, have you ever wondered what happens to those puppies.
So much time and work goes in to training and socialising a puppy that even though they may not make the grade they still have a lot to offer, some may have a wonderful temperament and character and go on to be brood dogs or stud dogs other can go on to be assistant dogs for those hard of hearing or experiencing other disabilities.
Some puppies will go on to be buddy dogs - this is something else Guide Dogs offer along with CustomEyes books and family support.
1. Guide Dogs
Guide Dogs is funded fully through donations - they receive no government funding- Guide Dogs for the Blind UK supports suitable dogs from birth, caring and socialising the puppies, and training the dogs for placement but it doesn't end there, they also maintain training throughout the dog's placement.
These amazing animals dedicate their lives to helping blind and partially sighted people live independent lives, the bond between a Guide Dog and its handler is a unique and lasting friendship.
A guide dog is retired around the age of 10 and often continues to live with the blind person or one of their relatives, if this is not possible then a suitable new home is found for them. If you think you could offer a loving home to a retired Guide dog then you can apply directly to Guide Dogs online
2. Buddy Dogs
In addition to offering assistance dogs to blind or partially sighted adults and children, Guide Dogs for the Blind provides services such as Buddy Dogs.
Buddy Dogs are dogs who aren’t qualified to work as assistance dogs but can improve the quality of life of children and young people who are blind or partially sighted. They can help with areas such as sensory and physical development, enhance a child’s confidence, increase levels of exercise and improve their communication skills.
3. ‘CustomEyes’ Books
“Guide Dogs” helps arrange for custom-made books from ‘Custom Eyes’ to be created for children with vision impairment. The child can choose what best helps them, from a picture book on a specific coloured paper, large font books, or GCSE textbook with a specific font and line spacing.
4. Family Support
Practical and emotional support is provided to families by trained and experienced support officers from the moment a child is diagnosed with a vision impairment.
“Guide Dogs” also help arrange UK-wide regular events for families where children with a visual impairment, and their families, can play and interact with others who have similar conditions.
Did you know?
Every hour, another person in the UK goes blind. But when that happens, Guide Dogs for the Blind are there to make sure they don’t lose their freedom as well.
Every penny donated goes towards helping provide life-changing services for people with sight loss.
We have been donating to Guide Dogs for the Blind UK since 2006. Since then we have helped fund 5 dogs for Guide Dogs for the Blind UK and are currently in the process of our 6th donation!
Why not follow our Facebook page for updates on our 6th pup @contactlensescouk
Perhaps you would like to make a personal donation, read some very inspiring stories or even become a puppy walker. If so, you can find everything you need to know here: https://www.guidedogs.org.uk
Author: John Dreyer Optometrist Bsc(Hons), MCOPTOM, DipCLP
Created: 8 Jun 2019, Last modified: 3 Jan 2023