Meet Client Joanne Lax

Joanne sits in front of a gray photo background. She is wearing a black and white flowery shirt and smiling. Next to her is a seated black lab in harness.

Greetings, fellow Leader Dog users and supporters. Let me introduce myself, since I am a new contributor to Leader Dog publications.

My name is Joanne Lax. I lost my vision around 1980, when I was 27 years old. I had graduated law school a few years earlier and was working in a large corporate law firm. By 1982, I decided that I wanted a Leader Dog, and that cane travel wasn’t for me. That was one of the best decisions that I ever made in terms of dealing with my disability.

Since then, I have worked with five amazing Leader Dogs—two golden retrievers, one yellow lab and two black labs. Four of them are honored with an engraved brick on the Leader Dog campus and on the electronic display in the state-of-the-art canine development center [at Leader Dog]. They are affectionately known as “the best dogs ever.” I didn’t have my fifth dog at the time of those fundraising campaigns, so her honors will need to wait for the next campaign. Each dog has had its own personality, strengths and even weaknesses. All of them made my life as a practicing attorney, wife, mother and community volunteer that much easier.

I hope that my publications for Leader Dogs will do several things. High on the list is heightening public awareness for the needs and rights of the visually impaired community. With awareness often comes activism, which I hope to promote. Also on the list of what I hope my publications will achieve is an opportunity for Leader Dog users to support each other with dialogue about common experiences as a dog user—good or bad. We can be each other’s strongest allies. Finally, I hope to be able to provide outside resources for Leader Dog users and supporters with items that are beyond the scope of Leader Dog publications.

I look forward to getting to know all of you through upcoming posts.

RECOMMENDED BLOGS & VIDEOS

Ashley is standing at a curb on the sidewalk of a tree-lined street. She is smiling at the camera and walking with a yellow lab in Leader Dog harness.

Clicker Training Your Dog

By Guide Dog Mobility Instructor Ashley Nunnelly In this post, ...
A yellow lab in leather Leader Dog harness sits on a sidewalk looking up at the camera. Its mouth is open as if smiling. The legs of the person standing behind and holding the dog's leash are visible.

You Can’t Legislate Respectful Behavior

By Client Joanne Lax We have plenty of laws in ...
Ashley sitting in a chair with a light gray blanket over her legs. She is leaning over to give a pointy-eared merle dog a kiss

Dogs Don’t Speak English

By Guide Dog Mobility Instructor Ashley Nunnelly Wouldn’t it be ...
Photo shows the entrance to the canine center on Leader Dog's campus. There is a blue wall with Leader Dog's logo on a white plaque. Beneath in white lettering is our mission statement. There is a brown double chair on the floor.

Webinar: Leader Dog’s Application Process

In the fifth installment of our webinar series, team members ...
White Leader Dog logo on a solid black background

A Message from Leader Dogs for the Blind President & CEO and Board Chair

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” These are ...
Two women kneel outdoors with a black lab in Leader Dog harness between them. They are both smiling. The left woman is wearing glasses. The woman on the right is instructor Ashley

Stage Left – Enter Leader Dog

By Guide Dog Mobility Instructor Ashley Nunnelly I never wanted ...
Get Leader Dog updates straight to your inbox.