A Day at Leader Dogs for the Blind

Published in: Update - Issue 2 - 2014 »   

Friday, May 30, 2014

Did you ever wonder what happens at Leader Dog on a daily basis? The short answer is—a lot! Just look at a few of the things that happened around campus on Friday, May 30.

One female Leader Dog employee hands equipment to another

Residential Custodian Angela passes the emergency phone and pager to Residential Assistant Kim in the morning along with updating her on any happenings with the clients in class.

A female Leader Dog employee reaches toward a cabinet stocked with bottles of medications

Dog Care Supervisor Sue checks the pills and dosages for any dogs needing medication.

A female Leader Dog employee stands outside in pea gravel holding the leash of a black lab with a cone around its head

Carol in puppy care takes Murphy (a dog in training who had double elbow surgery) out to “park” and stretch his legs. Puppy care takes care of puppies, breeding stock dogs and other dogs (retired, career changed, etc.) who need special attention and care.

A female Leader Dog employee stands next to a sitting yellow lab Leader Dog in training, preparing to board a bus

Jenny and other guide dog mobility instructors (GDMIs) load dogs in basic training on the truck to take them to downtown Rochester for training. Each dog must sit before entering the vehicle.

A female Leader Dog employee stands in front of a stainless steel counter smiling and mixing rice crispies cereal with her gloved hands

In our kitchen, Cook Stella makes rice crispy treats for an afternoon snack for clients.

Two older male volunteers stand near dog kennel. One has his hand on a chart and the other is looking at the camera and smiling while filling a bowl with kibble

Puppy Care Volunteers Eric Malloy and Dennis Chrzan check the food chart before preparing the puppies’ first meal of the day. Volunteers also clean puppy runs, wash dishes and toys, do laundry and walk breeding stock dogs.

Three Leader Dog employees, two female and one male, clean the lobby of the Leader Dog kennel. Two employees are wiping down the glass doors while the third is sweeping the entryway

Maureen, Mike and Roxane of the facilities team clean up the kennel lobby prior to opening to the public.

Two female employees stand facing each other and holding coffees

Amanda Smith (guest O&M specialist from Topeka, KS) chats with Erica, manager of extended services, before going downtown to learn about guide dogs and GPS while Erica headed up to her office to work on her budget.

A female employee walks across a sidewalk near a sunny parking lot holding the leash of a coated German shepherd walking beside her

Some of our staff at Leader Dog also volunteer their time in other departments. Jennifer works in dog care and also volunteers once a week in client services. Here she heads to client services with her newly adopted career changed dog, Feather.

A female volunteer stands outside watering some plants on campus

Volunteer Master Gardener Liz Berkheiser tends to our flower beds around campus.

A male guide dog mobility instructor walks next to a male client and his yellow lab Leader Dog. The group is about to cross a street in front of a white Prius with the Leader Dog logo on the side

GDMI Randy walks alongside a client and his new Leader Dog for their first traffic-checks, which are controlled practice runs where a vehicle pulls out in front of the client and Leader Dog team, and the Leader Dog must exercise intelligent disobedience to stop the team from getting too close to the vehicle. Vehicles are typically driven by GDMIs.

Three women sit in an office, facing each other. A golden retriever lies on the floor nearby

Beth, Carla and Kathleen of the Lions engagement team discuss Lions summer visits, which are special weekend events where Lions club leaders are invited to the Leader Dog campus to learn more about what goes on here. Beth’s dog, Kipper, takes a nap on the floor.

Two men hold onto a gardening cart sitting on the edge of the inside of a van

Facilities team members Dave and Arnold unload a gardening cart from the downtown facility. The downtown building is a jumping off point and resting place for clients and dogs when they are practicing in the busy Rochester downtown area.

A woman holds up a very young yellow lab puppy by its armpits, looking at it

Dr. Wilson evaluates a puppy before taking her over to Pawsitive Steps Rehab for some therapy during her lunch break.

Two female instructors cross a street next to two other women who are wearing blindfolds and each holding the harness of a Leader Dog

GDMIs Debbie and Jill take Pro Seminar guests (O&M specialists on campus to learn about guide dogs and GPS) on a blindfold walk to experience traveling with a Leader Dog.

A yellow lab and golden retriever cross lies on the floor, mostly hidden by a desk

Future Leader Dog Kellen rests in a little nook at the reception desk and practices being calm in a work environment.

A group of clients sits at a table while their dogs lie near their chairs. A female employee walks away from the table

Food Services Aide Reyna makes sure the clients get what they need as they gather in the dining room for three meals a day during their stay. Today, clients were served tuna salad with fruit and French bread for lunch.

A woman sits on a chair in the lobby of the Leader Dog kennel while holding the leash of a young golden retriever wearing its blue Future Leader Dog bandanna

Puppy Raiser Nancy Colombo waits in the lobby with the current dog she is raising, Future Leader Dog Ripley, to get his regularly scheduled vaccinations from the veterinarian.

A smiling woman kneels in front of the Leader Dog kennel next to a statue of a German shepherd while holding a young black lab puppy

Puppy Raiser Hannah picks up her first Future Leader Dog.