Carolyn kneels in a hallways with a golden retriever standing in front of her. Carolyn examines the dog with one hand running down the dog's back while with the other hand, Carolyn feeds the dog a treat

Breeding Future Leader Dogs

One of the aspects that Carolyn (pictured above) considers when evaluating a dog for the breeding program is their willingness to stand calmly and be handled. By Carolyn Whitesell, breeding program manager What is involved in breeding dogs here at ...
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A black lab and two yellow labs wearing blue Future Leader Dog bandannas stand or sit, looking up at their handlers, who are only visible from the waist down. The handlers are wearing blue pants with an orange stripe down the side, indicating they are inmates

Prison Puppies FAQs

By Melissa Spooner, LVT, coordinator of Prison Puppies Prison Puppies allows inmates to raise guide dog candidates for Leader Dogs for the Blind. Prison Puppies has proven to be a win, win, win initiative with inmates developing responsibility and positive ...
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Bill sits in a chair in a suite in the canine center. He is smiling at the camera with one hand on the yellow lab lying next to him on a Kuranda bed

A Love of Dogs and Volunteering

I was born in Minnesota and lived in California and Wisconsin before making my way to Michigan after college. Unfortunately, my dog passed away after I retired from a career in government contracting. I thought about getting another dog, but ...
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Glenn and Ginger Rossow sit on the floor in front of a white background with three Labradors, two yellow and one black, lying in front of them

Giving More Than Our Time

We were first introduced to Leader Dogs for the Blind (LDB) during the summer of 2005 while walking our Labrador retriever, Alta. Someone hosting a LDB breeding stock dog stopped us and asked if our Alta was a career changed ...
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Mary stands holding a black labrador's leash in a hallway in front of double doors. She is smiling at the camera and surrounded on both sides by young boys wearing Boy Scouts shirts and hats. A Scout leader is also standing with them

A Great Opportunity

Mary St. Clair is a highly involved volunteer at Leader Dogs. She is client driver, a dog driver, a puppy raiser, and so much more! She is currently raising her sixth Future Leader Dog, Westley, a Labrador and golden retriever ...
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On left is a young golden retriever puppy wearing a Future Leader Dog bandanna. On right is an adult golden retriever in harness

Consider Raising a Puppy

Do you love dogs? Are you passionate about making a difference in the life of someone who is blind? Consider becoming a volunteer puppy raiser. Opening your home to a puppy is a commitment, but in exchange you’ll receive moments ...
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Noella sits outdoors in athletic gear, smiling at the camera with her arms around Leader Dog Zeke, who sits in front of her

A Tribute to My Leader Dog

Zeke was so much more than a guide dog to me. He was my best friend. Please bear with me as I share my emotional tribute to Zeke. Zeke shone from the inside out. He was always full of joy, ...
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Demmitt A And Sophie

Living with Retinitis Pigmentosa: When is it Time for a Cane?

By Audrey Demmitt | Leader Dog Client I was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) in my twenties. RP is an eye disease that causes the retina to slowly deteriorate. The light sensing cells called rods and cones begin to die ...
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The Williams family kneels outdoors with a black lab

Leader Dog for the Soul

I first considered raising a puppy for Leader Dogs for the Blind when our school-age son declared, “I am going to have ten dogs when I grow up.” I decided then that our children needed to learn to be responsible ...
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A man walks down a sunny sidewalk with outdoor tables. He is walking with a white cane next to a woman in a Leader Dog polo

Is Orientation & Mobility Training Right for Me?

Orientation and mobility, or O&M, is a series of skills that allows a person to travel independently through a constantly changing world. Environments and vehicles are constantly changing, so the skills required to travel independently and safely are also changing. ...
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