February is all about LOVE and FRIENDSHIP at Guide Dogs for the Blind! To celebrate, we’re shining the spotlight on GDB client and artist Eryn Stubblefield, who says she loves creating art with her guide dog Latke by her side. Eryn’s recent design, ‘Guide Dog Love,’ is featured on a t-shirt in our online Gift Store. This talented illustrator credits Latke with changing her life. Eryn’s four words to describe the guide dog lifestyle are “independence, spontaneity, fun, and love.” The best thing about a GDB guide dog she says is “living the life I want to live.”
Social Distancing Poses Real Challenges for GDB Alumni
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected everyone, but those who are blind or visually impaired have been effected in ways that the sighted community may not realize. In an article for the Huffington Post, GDB Alumni Board member Dorianne Pollack gives a first-person account of her everyday challenges and calls on all of us to show more compassion and kindness to guide dog users.
Part of GDB’s efforts to serve clients more broadly is focusing on serving more youth and serving them in new ways. Most recently we welcomed Bay Area teen Matthew Simmons to our California campus for training with his first guide dog, a Lab/Golden cross named Granby. Prior to being matched with Granby, Matthew had a K9 Buddy for the past seven years and had attended a youth camp in preparation for getting a guide dog.
When GDB needed help transporting guide dog puppies to and from puppy clubs during the height of the pandemic, our network of supporters, volunteers, and private pilots came forward to help. Alaska Airlines, a long-time partner, also continued to help when many other airlines stopped transporting dogs in their cargo areas.
Please check out this KRON-TV news clip that highlights our Planes for Puppies initiative, and a recent puppy delivery from our California campus to their volunteer puppy raisers in New Mexico thanks to a generous volunteer pilot.
Donors Provide Safety Gear for Clients and Guide Dogs in Training
During the long nights and gray days of winter, a familiar concern for guide dog users regularly emerges - traffic and pedestrian safety.
Thanks to donors Nancy and Seth Mitchner and a grant from Advantis Credit Union, we are now able to supply our clients and their guide dogs with safety gear during training to make them more visible to drivers and travelers at night.