On left is a young golden retriever puppy wearing a Future Leader Dog bandanna. On right is an adult golden retriever in harness

Consider Raising a Puppy

Do you love dogs? Are you passionate about making a difference in the life of someone who is blind? Consider becoming a volunteer puppy raiser. Opening your home to a puppy is a commitment, but in exchange you’ll receive moments ...
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Noella sits outdoors in athletic gear, smiling at the camera with her arms around Leader Dog Zeke, who sits in front of her

A Tribute to My Leader Dog

Zeke was so much more than a guide dog to me. He was my best friend. Please bear with me as I share my emotional tribute to Zeke. Zeke shone from the inside out. He was always full of joy, ...
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Demmitt A And Sophie

Living with Retinitis Pigmentosa: When is it Time for a Cane?

By Audrey Demmitt | Leader Dog Client I was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) in my twenties. RP is an eye disease that causes the retina to slowly deteriorate. The light sensing cells called rods and cones begin to die ...
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The Williams family kneels outdoors with a black lab

Leader Dog for the Soul

I first considered raising a puppy for Leader Dogs for the Blind when our school-age son declared, “I am going to have ten dogs when I grow up.” I decided then that our children needed to learn to be responsible ...
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A man walks down a sunny sidewalk with outdoor tables. He is walking with a white cane next to a woman in a Leader Dog polo

Is Orientation & Mobility Training Right for Me?

Orientation and mobility, or O&M, is a series of skills that allows a person to travel independently through a constantly changing world. Environments and vehicles are constantly changing, so the skills required to travel independently and safely are also changing. ...
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A yellow lab wearing Leader Dog harness sits on a sidewalk looking at the camera. A person whose legs and feet are visible stands behind the dog holding the leash

When You Meet a Leader Dog

Leader Dogs provide independent travel for thousands of people around the world. Whether you know someone who works with a Leader Dog or just want to know how to react when you encounter one, you can help Leader Dogs and ...
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A woman wearing a blue Leader Dog polo and khaki pants shows a yellow lab a waist-high obstacle in a hallway

How Do I Become a Leader Dog Instructor?

At Leader Dog, this is one of most commonly asked questions we hear. Qualified candidates are hired in as apprentice instructors when we have openings, unless you have already been certified as a guide dog mobility instructor (GDMI). Generally, the ...
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Dr. Smith is seated in front of an exam table with a sedated black lab laying on top. Across from his is Dr. Wilson, standing and maneuvering some equipment near the dog's face. Two women work at a counter nearby, one on a computer

Living and Learning at Leader Dog

Dear Patterson Foundation, My name is Rebecca Coyle and I am a veterinary student from the University of Missouri. I recently spent two weeks at the Leader Dogs for the Blind campus and I had an absolutely amazing experience which ...
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Four women stand smiling at the camera with their arms around each other

Proud to be a Volunteer

By Carol Dash I have found that whenever you open your heart to opportunities at Leader Dogs for the Blind, good things happen. That’s exactly what happened to me when I became a volunteer client guide two years ago. As ...
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An adolescent yellow lab and golden retriever cross lies outside on a large, flat rock. He is tilting his head at the camera and wearing his Future Leader Dog bandanna

Beverly Kramer, Puppy Raiser

Beverly Kramer has been raising Leader Dogs for 20 years. In 1998, she attended an annual dinner at her local Chamber of Commerce, and the keynote speaker was a woman who is blind and her Leader Dog. "It was amazing ...
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