Letters from our Alumni

Published in: Update - Issue 3 - 2015 »   
Seated photo of Helaine and yellow lab Leader Dog Chapman

Helaine Abramson and LD Chapman

I love my Leader Dog........thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!!! Chapman and I have a bond that cannot be explained with words. I’ve always had dogs and, in fact, have two rescue dogs. Chapman gives me confidence and reduces my anxiety. I don’t like to be separated from him for any reason. As one of your videos said, “I only hope I give to him like he gives to me.” I don’t think that’s really possible. What a gift!!!!!

Helaine Abramson – Facebook post on June 16, 2015

I am so extremely proud of the team Luna and I have become. We have not quite reached the six month mark but yesterday showed me that I must be doing something right.

Everyone has either heard me talk about how good Luna is or saw it on videos of how she is at choir shows, but during those times she’s not really working, meaning there’s no harness on her. I’m extremely proud that she is very well-behaved during those times. However, yesterday takes the cake for being in harness!

Yesterday was an open house at International Academy, the school I attend for massage training. Luna was on her best behavior the moment we got there. When I stopped to talk to staff or students she either stood quietly by my side or sat down. I verbally praised her. Here’s the start of when Luna impressed even me: I decided to get a mini massage and I had Luna sit out of the way under the table and told her to stay. I had no idea how well this was going to work since the student therapist has to move around and possibly step very close to her. This was not a controlled environment. It is a big open room with people coming in and going out. Clients getting on tables and chairs and student therapists moving around. I told Luna to stay once more and I climbed on the table. For the whole 15 minutes Luna did not move a muscle! The person giving me the massage told me that she had her head laying on the little ledge under the table watching the room and that was it. She didn’t even move when the student stepped close to her. 15 minutes Luna did not get up once! She waited until I stood up before she got up. I praised her like mad and gave her treats of course. Never ever have I gotten her to stay still at home that long. Yay Luna!

Thank you Leader Dogs for such an awesome girl! I couldn’t have asked for a better dog.

May McDonald – Facebook post on May 1, 2015


Kyla Miller and LD Winter

Thought I would give you an update! We are all adjusting well. Kyla and Winter started work three weeks ago [07/28/15]. They are pooped! We took Winter to see Taylor Swift, she rode in a parade and LOVES people! This was a few days after Kyla got her [pictured right], tears to my eyes!

Lori Miller, mother of Kyla

Hi Leader Dog,

In-home training was terrific. We went with Kira to places I had gone with a cane and with my previous dog. We focused on bus stops and intersections that I do go to. Since I don’t usually have sighted help to find landmarks, it was particularly helpful [to have someone show me] exactly where the bus stop sign was in relation to the cross street, how to get to the restaurant about half a mile away without crossing a major street, etc. John Dettloff [LDB guide dog mobility instructor] is excellent, fun, entertaining... it was a great experience.

Anna Byrne and LD Kira

And Kira? Amazing! Someone raised her well and someone else trained her well. She still isn’t in favor of the daily obedience sit-down-sit-downsit- down-stay—but we do it anyway and either she will get better at it or she won’t. Her work is accurate and she wags [her tail] a lot. When I say ‘come’ and put out my hand, she not only comes to me but puts her nose in my hand so I know she is there.

I could go on, but I would have to find a thesaurus to find more words for great/terrific/outstanding/amazing/delightful. You get the picture.

Please thank everyone for me. I can’t think of anything additional I would wish for.

Anna Byrne