Expanding Comfort Zones with White Cane Training

A woman holing a white cane crosses a street with vehicles and a stoplight in the background. Another woman in a Leader Dog shirt follows behind, observing

A Letter from Mike Garrigan, Leader Dog Client

I woke up Sunday morning thinking I was still at Leader Dog—mentally getting ready for another day of instruction and [orientation and mobility] challenges. I really was looking forward to another day. From the very beginning of the program to the very end of the program, my experience with Leader Dog was off-the-charts positive.

The clear sign that Leader Dog was on top of things was after I received the acceptance call, I then received another call shortly thereafter from a travel agent who booked my flight. This was well organized and from the start I knew I was going to the right place for help. After completing a week of O&M training, one of your volunteers drove me to the airport and sat with me at the gate for two hours to ensure I boarded the plane without problems. He didn’t have to do that and I told him so, but he stayed and we talked. I thanked him and really appreciated it. I even received a packed lunch from the Leader Dog folks! Too awesome!

Leader Dog was extremely well organized with extraordinary people who were all extraordinarily friendly and helpful. My biggest challenge for the week at Leader Dog was to expand my ever-so shrinking comfort zone. The simplest things have become very difficult over the years. I’m so thankful for the specialist I was assigned. She was exactly what I needed. She challenged me, trained me, taught me a lot and listened when I needed to talk. Her great sense of humor lessened my stress during very stressful situations for me. O&M was tough but enjoyable. I knew I was in very capable hands when she helped expand my comfort zone even during the first day when I accomplished something that I hadn’t done in years—crossed the street independently!

The week I spent at Leader Dog and the entire experience has earned a special place in my heart. I left Leader Dog more humbled and more grateful than ever.

Take Care,

Mike Garrigan


Apply for Orientation & Mobility Training today.


RECOMMENDED BLOGS & VIDEOS

A woman wearing a blindfold walks toward some roadblocks while holding the handle of a harness on a golden retriever. The golden retriever is guiding the woman while a Leader Dog instructor holds the dog's leash and speaks to the woman

Executive Leadership Training at Leader Dog

Dogs are teaching humans to be better bosses in this ...
Jeff and his wife, Linda, sit with their arms around each other's shoulders, smiling at the camera. They are seated at a table with other tables and guests visible in the background.

Empty Fork Again

By Jeff Hawkins, Leader Dog Client Seriously, did it just ...
A golden retriever in leather Leader Dog harness walks on inscribed bricks on a sunny day. A person is walking next to the dog and is only visible from the waist down

Webinar: Is a Leader Dog the Right Mobility Tool for Me?

  We have held the first in a series of ...
Five clients are seated, facing the camera and smiling. Each one has a Leader Dog in harness sitting on the floor next to them. Behind the clients stand two instructors, one male and one female

Becoming a Guide Dog Mobility Instructor

By Ashley Nunnelly, Guide Dog Mobility Instructor Before joining Leader Dog, ...
Gretchen Preston sits smiling at the camera with her left arm around her Leader Dog, black Labrador Floyd, who is wearing a leather Leader Dog harness

Five Ways to Keep Your Leader Dog Active in Inclement Weather

By Gretchen Preston, Leader Dog Handler Cold, wind, rain or ...
Tripp walks toward the camera on a sidewalk with one arm extended in front of him. On his left is a yellow Labrador Leader Dog in harness

Full Speed Ahead

© Jeffrey D. Etheridge There is no shortage of preparation ...