Letters from our Alumni

Published in: Update - Issue 1 - 2012 »     Listen to Article ♫

The following is an excerpt from an entry on a Yahoo! guide dog group:

Several of you contacted me privately about a month ago prior to me going into class to train with my 6th dog. Here is the announcement about my new pup. I received a very nice and fabulous male yellow Labrador named Bode from Leader Dog. I don't know his height, but he is quite tall. He is truly amazing so far. Calm, gentle, easy to handle, fast, fabulous initiative, smart, well-behaved… do I have to say I am very impressed and love him?

We had a terrific training experience at Leader, and my compliments go to Leader for all the very positive changes that they have made over the past ten years.


Jean Menzies and Leader Dog Bode

Dear Leader Dog,

Thank you for all the pre-travel assistance. My trip to Belgium with Jake was a great success! In fact, I'd forgotten how incredible he can be. Since I retired last January, we don't work quite so much and certainly nothing that is terribly challenging for Jake. During the trip to Belgium, I could feel the excitement in his body as we trucked through the airport and train station, went on and off escalators, and never did he miss a beat. If I gave him the "follow" command he would lock his eyes on the person leading, often my friend Denise, and if someone would step between us he'd stop; I could feel him looking, searching, then he'd spot the person and zoom off to catch up. He was really amazing.

Once again, thank you for such great training... for both of us.

Geri Taekens and Leader Dog Jake

Dear Leader Dog,

My father, Robert D. Mahoney, was one of your first students many years ago. He and my mother are still alive and recently celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary. My father talks about the experience he had when he went to Leader Dog to "be trained" for his first dog. As a child I still remember [his dogs] Sandy and Happy and how gentle they were and how helpful they were to my father.

My father started his own business and served 18 years in the Michigan Legislature. I can't help but think that the early years of his career, selling door-to-door with his Leader Dog, was a great benefit and gave him the freedom and confidence he needed to succeed in life.

Thank you for all your staff does with helping the blind and opening doors to individuals and giving them a little extra freedom. You never know how much impact you will have on a person when you give them a little help along the way. I just wanted you to know that you gave my dad that little extra boost and he is grateful for the help.

Thank you,

Joseph R. Mahoney, CPA
Member, Lansing Host Lions Club

Dear Leader Dog,

I wish you a very Merry Christmas. Already Leader Dog Guy and I are a very good team; he works superbly well, every day progressing in his adaptation and knowledge of his new world. Also, in this note, my best wishes for Leader Dog to continue to make dreams come true for many. There will never be enough thanks—from all of us who have benefitted—for your invaluable help.

Thank you all. Happy New Year!!

Gabriel Salinas Alvarez and Leader Dog Guy