Yes, this Valentine's day we recognize our special loved ones. For those with low vision, the love of their life may just be their guide dog. Do you know the history of seeing eye dogs? Dogs have been used as a guide in various cultures for a very long time yet there was no formal guide dog program in existence until after the First World War.
The first guide dogs for the blind and visually impaired were trained in Germany to provided assistance for those blinded in the war were German shepherds.
German Shepherds have a strong sense of loyalty to their owners, giving it a natural tendency to be protective. Having a very protective dog as a companion is an obvious asset for someone who may otherwise be easily attacked by less than scrupulous individuals.
After the end of World War I the nation of Germany was devastated by financial depression. Many private businesses failed and the Potsdam, Germany school that trained the guide dogs for the blind was one of them.
An American woman named Dorothy Eustis had heard about the program and decided it was a very worthwhile endeavor. Because she owned a company that was training German Shepherds as working dogs, she decided she might try to train guide dogs for the blind. She did not start this right away, however. In fact, she was still considering the possibilities when she penned a story for The Saturday Evening Post about the potential for guide dogs for the blind.
A Nashville man named Morris Frank had heard the story and decided to write to Ms. Eustis and ask her to train a dog for him. She did and Mr. Frank became known as the first blind person to use a guide dog.
As part of an arrangement he’d made with Ms. Eustis, Mr. Frank started training guide dogs in the United States. The foundation that Mr. Frank started was dubbed “The Seeing Eye” and the so-called Seeing Eye dog was effectively born.
Today guide dogs are trained to assist people with many different disabilities.
For more information and way to donate to Guide Dogs review this web page: http://www.guidedogs.com
Protect the ones you love with an eye exam today.
To your eye health,