Heading Back to Chicago

Urban Training a Success

Published in: Update - Issue 1 - 2014 »   
Photo of client Brent walking down an outdoor staircase under Chicago's transit system. His Leader Dog, a yellow lab, is leading him

LDB Client Brent Neeser and LD Andy navigate
the stairs leaving the ‘L,’ Chicago’s raised
transit system.

This past October we completed our first urban environment guide dog training in Chicago. This pilot program allowed four clients who live, work or travel in big city environments the opportunity to train with their new Leader Dogs in one of the busiest cities in the U.S.

First-time LDB Client John DiMarco described the experience as, “Incredible. We were up at 6:30 a.m. every day, taking the train to downtown Chicago, going through turnstiles, elevators, escalators, steps and platforms. It was scary at first, but the dogs were all right on the money.”

Photo of client John and his Leader Dog standing in front the Cloud Gate sculpture on a sunny day. They and the surrounding plaza and trees are reflected in the sculpture

John DiMarco and LD Shadow pose in front of
the famous Cloud Gate sculpture in
Millenium Park.

LDB Guide Dog Mobility Instructor Jamie Togal also thought the experience was great. “Chicago provided us with an environment that was much busier, noisier and more complicated than any we can experience in the Detroit area,” he said. “It was rewarding to be able to provide our clients with the training they needed for the lives that they live.”

We have evaluated the success of the program and decided to offer another urban environment training class in Chicago during April/May 2014. If you know anyone who would benefit from this training, please have them contact our client services department at 888/777.5332.