A Love Story I'd Like to Tell

By Mary Spaulding

Published in: Update - Issue 1 - 2012 »     Listen to Article ♫

Jodie, August 1994

In the spring of 1994, I picked up a brochure about raising a Leader Dog puppy. My husband, Jim, and I decided this would be perfect—enjoy the enthusiasm of a puppy and be a part of changing a visually impaired person's life. In August of 1994 we picked up Jodie (named after one of our favorite actresses) and started the joyful process of puppy raising.

Puppy Raising

Jodie went everywhere with us. Soon we were known as "Jodie's Mom and Dad." We trained with other puppy raisers and attended sponsored events to give her many social opportunities. In the fall of 1995 we brought Jodie back to Leader Dog; tears were shed and the separation was hard. Later when Jodie received a career change due to a physical ailment, we happily adopted her and she went to work with me for 13 years before passing away.

Re-Home Hosts

My interest in Leader Dog was rekindled in 2010 when I showed up for a tour and seminar, but on the wrong day and time. Luckily, I was given a tour by Roberta Trzos, director of personal giving. During the tour I developed a sense of connection to Leader Dog's mission and decided to get re-involved by re-homing dogs. Re-homing involves having a dog in your home for a few days or weeks to allow it to recover from a minor illness or just to get a little more personal attention.

Roscoe, New Year's Eve 2011

We were asked to re-home a 13-year-old retired Leader Dog named Roscoe until a permanent home could be found for him. We fell in love with his gentle nature and noticed that he found peace and tranquility in our home. Of course, we adopted Roscoe, who now spends his mornings at work with me before going home to take his afternoon nap.

Becoming Donors

Jim and I decided to become financial supporters by including Leader Dog in our estate plan, which allowed us to join the Legacy Society. Our membership in the Legacy Society enables us to communicate our desire to support the end result of a person who is blind being teamed with a best friend in the form of a faithful and well-trained Leader Dog.

We were also sponsors of the annual Lead in the Holidays event for the first time in 2011. Attending this event with five hundred other supporters allowed us to meet staff members who are working with clients and dogs on a daily basis. The generosity and support of the guests in attendance was inspiring.

Jim and I ask that you please consider joining the Legacy Society by including Leader Dog in your estate plans.

(Roscoe is at my feet as I write this. He will always have a wonderful home with us.)