Talk about Guide Dogs for the Blind


This is one of President Pat’s chosen charities for this year.We listened to a very interesting talk given by Eve and Hilary. We were also introduced to Maddy a retired guide dog.

Eve and her husband look after guide dogs, when they are puppies, for twelve months. They train the dogs to be sociable, obey simple commands, get them used to public transport, supermarkets and restaurants. They are assessed every monthand attend puppy classes for guide dogs. They learn to weave in and out of obstacles, cope with steps and stop at kerbs. Guide dogs will eventuallyknow how to for example find a seat and a cash machine.

Hilary who is a registered blind person told us of the difference a guide dog had made to her. Her sight has deteriorsted over the years and she only has peripheral vision. She was very anxious when she first had a guide dog but found it invaluable. Her dog now has to be retired due to illhealth and she will go on the waiting list for a new dog.

The overall cost of a guide dog is £56,000 and there is a 75% success rate. The charity started in 1931.