By Stuart M., Orientation & Mobility Client
I wanted to take a moment and reflect on & thank you for a truly life-changing experience for me.
From the moment I connected with you, I could tell that Leader Dogs was a friendly and inviting place. I so appreciate all of the above-and-beyond efforts that were made to ensure I was comfortable and prepared as I came to Leader Dogs.
I am truly grateful to have gained such valuable skills that I am now putting into practice on a daily basis. I feel so much more at peace with my day-to-day and have embraced life with a cane. Thank you to Lyn (pictured with Stuart above and below) for such wise insights and for such incredible training. I feel very well prepared for any situation, but also in the event that I may lose my vision completely. I feel like I gained the best possible training from an elite trainer and that a huge weight has been lifted! I appreciated that he taught me the best of his skillset and allowed me to make alterations to make it my own. As a fellow teacher and coach, I appreciate this!
I also wanted to thank the staff. The RAs were always so kind and willing to answer questions and assist when needed. I connected with Reina and Taylor in the dining hall. Both absolute gems as I’m sure you know! Thank you also to Garret and Tommy, who were great supports during the week and never too busy to answer questions. Lastly, thank you to Michael. He picked me up at about 7 a.m. on Sunday and didn’t leave my side until about 10 after he got me through the gate, security and right to my flight. We chatted for quite awhile.
Three major highlights for me. 1) I believe it was Thursday evening, I waited until it was pitch dark (I am nightblind). It was also raining. I put my newly acquired skills to the test on the practice course including the crosswalk. Not only did I make it, but I made it a 2nd around while being completely blindfolded. A feat I wouldn’t have dared to try a week earlier.
2) I was able to “test-walk” Rosie the guide dog on Friday. This was a magical experience for me. Truly a life highlight! The walk went very well despite poor Rosie being harassed along the way by a few little dogs on route. I loved every second of it. Thank you to Meredith, who prepared me well for a successful experience.
3) Your tour of the kennel. What an amazing facility & unbelievable operation you have. Thank you for taking the time!
Anyway, a million thank yous to all of you. I feel truly blessed to have connected with your organization.
Thank you, Erica. Perhaps I’ll get in touch with your office regarding starting the next application. All the very best to you and your staff at Leader Dogs!
Stuart wrote to our manager of extended services, Erica, to express his feelings after attending Orientation & Mobility Training at Leader Dog. He is now prepping his application for Guide Dog Training!