Anne and Teagan are still very new to each other. They began their relationship on October 22, 2018, and Anne says they still have a lot of work to do to get to know each other. Specifically bred to be a seeing eye dog, Teagan’s training began when she was just 8 weeks old. She spent the first year of her life working with a puppy raiser who taught her to be a good canine citizen and exposed her to many different environments. Next, Teagan spent 5 months at the guide dog training facility learning how to keep Anne safe. When Teagan was ready, Anne flew to The Seeing Eye facility and worked with her there for two and half weeks from 5:30 am – 8:00 pm every day. Anne says it was hard work, but worth it!
Day to day, Teagan helps Anne navigate the world at work, at the grocery store, when they are out with friends, and all of the other places that Anne frequents. Anne says people always ask if Teagan can do tricks. “Well, she keeps me out of moving traffic,” Anne laughs, “and that’s a pretty good trick!”
Anne says Teagan and all of her seeing eye dogs have helped her maintain her independence. When she lost her sight, Anne lost herself. The dogs brought her sense of self back. “They keep me being me.”
The Seeing Eye estimates that it costs $60,000 to unite a dog with a client, and it is done at no charge to people in need of a seeing eye dog, like Anne. Not only is there no fee for the dog, but the organization flies clients out to the facility and houses and feeds them while they work with their new seeing eye dog. “It’s wonderful,” Anne says. “Such a gift.”
If you are interested in helping out organizations that train and place seeing eye dogs, they are always in need of puppy raisers. You can also donate online to your favorite guide dog school.
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