Bringing Hope and Joy with Four Paws and a Wagging Tail
Through all my years, I've always thought....if one of my senses were taken away, which one would be the most heartbreaking. Scent...well, there are a lot of things I love, the smell of a crisp fall day, or the flowers blooming in the Spring. Maybe the wonderful smell of Mom and Dad's homecooking. But, I would be okay, as there are many things I wouldn't miss, and I won't go there. Hearing would be tough, as I love the sound of the birds, and hearing laughter amongst family and friends. But despite going through hearing, touch, scent...I thought to never see a sunrise again, to never be able to move around my home, to not be able to cross a street. The things we take for granted every day..how would I do it. I could do a lot of things without smelling it or hearing it, or touching it. But, sight??
Hence, Leader Dogs...they are amazing. And the more information I've received from them, the more I am amazed at their history and how they have evolved. And like our local animal shelter that is strictly run on donations, they do the same thing.
So, when you read this, imagine....getting up and not having a helper to get you around. But, imagine even better, a warm faithful companion that protects you with every step you take. And take a moment to think about all the people that dedicate themselves tirelessly to make this happen.
Leader Dogs for the Blind is in the middle of the largest campaign in their history to turn the existing kennel into a state of the art Canine Development Center. Join me as I raise funds for this amazing organization and help them continue their mission of empowering people who are blind or visually impaired with lifelong skills for safe and independent daily travel.
For more information on the new Canine Development Center, please see the photo gallery and video below!
Welcome to the new Canine Development Center!
From the moment you arrive, you will see the Canine Development Center is designed to be the ideal environment. View these images to see the main changes during this project and discover the huge impact it will have on our dogs and clients.
Open Housing Villages
At times the kennel environment can be stressful. To ease this stress, we redesigned our housing bays with an open concept that allows for ample stimulation and interaction. This includes suites that have open sight lines for every single dog. Plus, the 255 suites are 2.5 times larger than the current suites. Since we know dogs like to be around other dogs, up to 60% of the suites allow for cohabitation. It will also include a large, open area where the dogs can spend time with our volunteers and staff, allowing for even more human-dog interaction.
Breeding & Puppy Area
The journey to becoming a Leader Dog starts at birth, which means the Canine Development Center was developed with our breeding stock and puppies in mind. Improvements include: A breeding area featuring separate housing for males and females, allowing them to remain relaxed prior to breeding. Also, there will be separation between puppies and breeding stock dogs, offering a more peaceful environment that helps protect young immune systems. They layout also allows for increased socialization and supervision and adjacent daytime and nighttime spaces to reduce the need to move puppies throughout the day (previously, puppies had to be carted to and from a converted garage).
New Centralized Veterinary Clinic
Our esteemed team of veterinarians has the responsibility of caring for each and every one of our dogs. Every dog that enters this facility must be seen and monitored at the on-site veterinary clinic. As our operations have expanded and evolved, so has the need for an advanced, centrally located veterinary clinic so our veterinarians can give our future Leader Dogs the best care possible. With 35% more space, the clinic will allow us to add new and enhanced technology. Also, included is defined areas for X-ray, surgery, post-surgery recovery and endoscopic procedures to help with work flow.
The New Canine Suites
The new canine suites are 2.5 times larger!