Bob Klein, Volunteer

An older man wearing a yellow waterproof apron stands in front of stainless steel bathing area with a wet golden retriever in it. Next to them stands a women also wearing an apron. They are smiling

Bob Klein was born and raised in the greater Chicago area. He started his professional career working in sales at Ford, which eventually led him to relocate to the Detroit area. After retiring from Ford Motor Company at 65, Bob was tired of an office environment and decided to give his time to something more meaningful and important to him. That’s when he looked for a volunteer opportunity at Leader Dog. He has now been volunteering at Leader Dog for 23 years. “Leader Dog tried to talk me into working in administration, but I told them I wanted to work hands on with the dogs.”

A self-described dog lover, Bob volunteers at Leader Dogs every Tuesday for a few hours in the morning in our canine care department. He works with his friend and co-volunteer, Joline Clark, in the grooming and bathing area. “I’ve been working with Joline for 20 years. She is a friendly and wonderful coworker, a true joy to work with.”

Knowing that his volunteer hours are a service to others gives him great joy. He doesn’t even feel like he is working because the amount of joy he receives is greater than he could ever give. “It is so rewarding and fun to be give my love to these adorable dogs every week,” he says.

Grooming and bathing is an important part of enriching the lives of our future guide dogs. Not only is it healthy for them physically, but the human contact provides mental stimulation and another source of interaction. Bob describes the experience as fun and wholesome, as the dogs are so young and sweet. He works with our puppies and our dogs in training. His favorite part? “When the dogs snuggle up against you and put their noses on your chest, seeing the joy in their eyes, and every now and then they slobber you with the occasional long tongue.” He notes that some dogs are more receptive to bath time than others. “The labs and retrievers are water dogs, but the shepherds take some persuading and lots of petting.” Luckily, he has Mike Johnson, a canine care attendant, there to help. “[Mike] is so knowledgeable about each of the dogs and their personal needs. He is a pleasure to work with.”

Bob loved working with the dogs so much that he decided to become a puppy raiser. He and his wife raised a yellow lab, Megan, who successfully went on to become a guide dog. He says puppy raising was his most rewarding experience, even though his wife isn’t a “dog person.” When he’s not giving a helping hand here at Leader Dog, Bob spends his time volunteering in hospitals and working at his church, St. Regis Catholic, in Bloomfield Hills. Bob also spends his free time golfing, bowling and playing ping-pong. “I try to stay active and fit, despite being a such an old man,” he jokes.

RECOMMENDED BLOGS & VIDEOS

Moira sits smiling at the camera. Her long hair is down and she is wearing a black sleeveless top. Seated next to her is a yellow lab with its mouth slightly open as though smiling.

Voice of the Leader Dog Community: Moira Shea

Hello there, my name is Moira Shea and I have ...
A young yellow lab puppy sits in the snow, looking up toward the camera and wearing a blue Future Leader Dog bandanna.

A Love Letter to Puppy Raisers

By Guide Dog Mobility Instructor Ashley Nunnelly Some of you ...
Anu stands outside in a dark colored t-shirt. She is smiling and holding a young German shepherd in her arms.

Voice of the Leader Dog Community: Anu Joshi

Hey Everyone! My name is Anu, I’m from Southeast Michigan ...
Ashley is taking out a selfie with Uni, whose head is resting over her shoulder. Uni's face is white and his nose is close to the camera. Ashley is smiling.

The Discomfort of Learning

By Guide Dog Mobility Instructor Ashley Nunnelly We all want ...
Blue background with text on top in light green reading Voices of the Leader Dog Community.

Voices of the Leader Dog Community: the LDB Team

For this month’s installment of Voices of the Leader Dog ...
Cerr is seated next to black lab Iris. She is smiling at the camera and wearing a floral yellow top. Iris is in her Leader Dog harness. Behind them is a light gray photo backdrop.

Voice of the Leader Dog Community: Cerr

Hello Everyone! My name is Cerr and I am from ...
Never miss a post

We've got cool stories from clients and volunteers, dog training tips, news about Leader Dog and much more coming out on our blog all the time. Stay in the loop!