Fall Puts a Focus on Learning

Message from the President

Published in: Update - Issue 3 - 2016 »   


Close-up photo of President and CEO Sue Daniels smiling and holding a black lab puppy

As we head into fall and are busy with “back to school” activities, we tend to think about our youth and the new and wonderful things they will learn during the school year. However, all of us are learning each and every day no matter our age, profession or background.

For example, our client/dog teams are continuously learning just like other “students.” For first time guide dog users this is especially true. Both client and Leader Dog continue to learn as their relationship develops and grows over time—traveling in new places, using GPS technology, etc.

Leader Dogs continue to learn about their human partners through observation. They learn to understand the slightest body movements and what these indicate—especially when it comes to meal or work times! As our clients begin to trust their Leader Dogs, they are continually amazed at how much the dogs retain. Many times after visiting a place just once, a Leader Dog will return to the location and remember which door they used previously, even if it’s been several months. That is truly amazing and I am sure many of us often wish our sense of direction was that keen!

Experienced guide dog users and their Leader Dogs are also continuously learning as they travel to new environments through changes in their home environment, working through challenges that arise during road construction or major weather changes.

This fall is also “back to school” for our dogs in training as they are now housed in the new state-of-theart Canine Development Center. This world-class facility promotes learning by reducing stress and increasing human-dog interaction. An expanded veterinary clinic better serves the health needs of our dogs, and the new puppy and breeding stock areas give us the ability to provide specialized care.

So as you can see, it’s always “back to school” here at Leader Dog and we wouldn’t have it any other way! Lastly, on behalf of the people we serve, I want thank each of you for your passionate dedication and continued support of Leader Dogs for the Blind and our mission. I specifically want to recognize the Lions and congratulate them on their 100-year anniversary. What an accomplishment! Leader Dogs for the Blind is humbled and honored to be founded by Lions and to be one of the many fine organizations that Lions support. I hope you enjoy this issue of Update and take pleasure in “learning” more about our organization!

Susan M. Daniels
President and CEO