Letters from our Alumni

Published in: Update - Issue 3 - 2014 »   

Lea and LD Stella

Thank you so much for putting Stella in my life. She is a serious pup when it comes to working. We got our certification today in customer service. I could not have completed it without Stella’s help. She has changed my life so much, has given me the courage to go forward in life. She is very supportive and it means everything to me. She has already made an impact on my life.

Lea Dunbar – Facebook post on August 26, 2014


To Everyone at Leader Dogs for the Blind,

Deborah and LD Angel

Please find this letter to show my extreme gratitude for Angel! I attended training this past May. The instructors and the entire team at Leader Dog worked tirelessly and effortlessly to help make my experience wonderful! Once Angel and I were introduced, I knew the right girl was at my side!

Guide Dog Training, or “boot camp for the blind” as my husband refers to it, was even more than what I expected. The training was personalized to include every aspect of day-to-day living and all of its encounters. The team asked of our needs and tailored each day to help us learn and accomplish all that we would need to know in order to successfully immerse ourselves back into our everyday lives.

Angel and I experienced everything together. We learned to shop, ride the elevators and escalators, how to maneuver a busy mall concourse and how to get to a classroom if attending school. Our training included riding the city bus, the People Mover and walking in the downtown Detroit area!

The experience I have had at Leader Dog will be one I will never forget! I am extremely fortunate and proud to tell each and every person I encounter about my experience at Leader Dog. I am extremely grateful to everyone involved with this wonderful organization; the staff, Lions club members, benefactors, volunteers and puppy raisers of Leader Dog.

Before coming to Leader Dog, my friend Carrie gave me a guardian angel pin to guide me through my training. I came to Leader Dogs for the Blind with a guardian angel pinned to my collar, but I left with my guardian angel at my side!

Thank you to everyone for this beautiful angel in my life!

Deborah J. Barrowcliff


Julie and LD Zoe

Hello to Everyone at Leader Dog,

I wanted to take a moment to share one of LD Zoe’s accomplishments. Yesterday we had a major fire on one of the floors in our building. The alarms in the building were blaring when I got Zoe and I together to head down the stairwell grabbing some of our “go” items by the door. At that point I wasn’t aware if it was a false alarm or the real thing. When I got into the stairwell I knew it was the real thing.

The alarms in the stairwell were shrieking even louder as they reverberated in the enclosed space. You could smell the smoke and burning materials. Two more flights down we ran into firemen who directed us to continue down the stairs. I was coughing from the smoke as it was pretty intense. When we got outside, the firemen there settled us in a safe place.

Zoe was amazing! Though she was physically shaking as a reaction to the alarms, she steadily got us both down the stairs and safely outside without actually giving way to any fear or panic. She went through the smoke without hesitating and once outside, even though there was the commotion of the trucks, the lights, the hoses, etc., she settled us where the firemen placed us then stayed close by, having a drink of water and some treats until we were allowed back in the building a few hours later.

Thank you so much LDB for the fantastic training Zoe received that helped her get us both outside. I am so, so proud of her!

Julie Stevenson – Facebook post on September 14, 2014


Mickey and LD Emerson

To Whom this May Concern:

Please find enclosed a gift of money. This is my donation honoring the 75th Anniversary of my wonderful school.

I am very proud to say this is my 42nd year of having a Leader Dog. I am honored in being considered part of this wonderful family. You have changed my life in so many ways, it would be difficult to put into words. I just cannot imagine my life without my beautiful pair of eyes you have matched me with in the past 42 years. These eyes may have four paws and a wagging tail, but they are so magical in making a blind person’s life full of independence, pride and a kind of quality that is not described properly in the dictionary. I will always be so proud of my school.

Graduates Mickey and Leader Dog Emerson