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.