Home Delivery Aids Client Who is Deaf and Blind

Published in: Update - Issue 2 - 2017 »   
Photo of smiling Bryan Grubb seated in front of a beige wall next to black Labrador Leader Dog Dozed, who is sitting next to Bryan in his leather Leader Dog harness

Bryan Grubb and LD Dozer

Bryan Grubb was in a good news/bad news scenario; Leader Dog had a great dog available to pair him with, but he was unable to get time away from work for training. Luckily for Bryan, we had a solution—a home delivery.

Like most guide dog clients, Bryan came to Michigan to receive his first Leader Dog, Magellan. The 25-day training taught him how to work with a guide dog and gave him time to bond with Magellan before heading home.

However, due to his work schedule and the fact that training for clients who are Deaf-Blind wasn’t available for several months,* Bryan trained with Leader Dog Dozer in his home environment with Guide Dog Mobility Instructor Jennifer Sanderson.

After spending a few days on basic guide work and getting to know each other, Bryan and Dozer set off for work with Jennifer at their side. Together they set up a safe place for Dozer to stay while Bryan worked and patterned Dozer to the cafeteria, rest room and exits in the manufacturing facility where Bryan is employed. For several more days Jennifer accompanied the team from home to work to home again.

As an experienced guide dog user, Bryan relied on his knowledge of commands and dog handling to quickly become a safe traveling team with Dozer. Being in his home environment, Bryan traveled familiar routes, which is especially important for people who are deaf and blind because learning new or multiple routes can be time-consuming and stressful.

In their 18 months together Bryan and Dozer have strengthened their bond and teamwork. According to Bryan, Dozer is a good listener that really understands Bryan’s routine and where he needs to go. He adds, “I am glad to have the right dog.”

“I want to thank Leader Dog for letting Jenny bring Dozer here to my home. He is a wonderful dog. This was easier for me and Dozer to understand how to work as a team."

* Leader Dog is the only organization in the western hemisphere with a dedicated Deaf-Blind program. Classes for clients who are Deaf-Blind are offered twice per year.