Morris Frank was just 16 when he lost his eyesight, and with it, his sense of independence. Struggling to navigate the world around him, Frank was frustrated by his newfound limitations.
This post is all about the story of the first seeing eye dog.
One day Frank read an article about a German school that was training dogs to help blind World War I veterans. Intrigued, he reached out to the author of the article, Dorothy Harrison Eustis, and asked for more information.
Eustis, who was running a dog training school in Switzerland, was impressed by Frank’s determination and invited him to come visit. It was there that Frank was paired with a German Shepherd named Buddy, who would become the first official seeing eye dog available to an average citizen.
With Buddy by his side, Frank was able to regain his independence and move through the world with confidence. The two became inseparable, and Frank dedicated his life to promoting the use of guide dogs for the blind.
Benefits of Seeing Eye Dogs
Seeing eye dogs, also known as guide dogs, are highly trained dogs that assist people who are blind or visually impaired. German Shepards are one of the most commonly used breeds for this purpose due to their intelligence, loyalty, and protective nature. Here are some ways that a seeing eye dog can benefit a blind person:
With a seeing eye dog, a blind person can navigate their surroundings with confidence and independence. The dog is trained to guide them around obstacles, stop at curbs, and avoid potential hazards. This independence can greatly improve a blind person’s quality of life and allow them to participate in activities they might not have been able to before.
Seeing eye dogs are trained to keep their handler safe. They can detect potential dangers such as oncoming traffic or obstacles in the way and will guide their handler around them. In addition, the dog can act as a deterrent to potential attackers or thieves, as they are highly protective of their handler.
A seeing eye dog is not only a highly trained assistant, but also a beloved companion. The bond between the dog and their handler is strong and can greatly improve the handler’s emotional well-being.
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A seeing eye dog can also help their handler become more social. People are naturally drawn to dogs, and having a dog by their side can make a blind person more approachable and open to socializing.
The benefits of seeing eye dogs extend beyond just the blind person themselves. By allowing a blind person to become more independent, their family members and caregivers can have more free time and less stress. In addition, seeing eye dogs can be a positive influence on their community by raising awareness about disability rights and increasing empathy and understanding.
Overall, seeing eye dogs provide a multitude of benefits to blind people, including increased independence, improved safety, companionship, and increased socialization. German Shepards are an excellent breed for this purpose due to their intelligence and protective nature.
Today, seeing eye dogs are a common sight, but it all started with Morris Frank and Buddy. Their partnership not only changed Frank’s life, but the lives of countless others who have been able to experience the freedom and independence that comes with having a guide dog by their side.