More than their service, here’s what you need to know about guide dogs

The answers to all your most pressing questions about service pups

A blind woman crouches down and holds her guide dog's paw in her hand.

Tanja Milojevic and her guide dog, Nabu.

October 16, 2019

Want to learn more about guide dogs? 

Here at Perkins, they aren’t viewed merely as service pets. Rather, they’re our furry friends and colleagues. And they are invaluable to our mission of empowering children and young adults with vision disabilities to lead independent lives. 

Out in the world, though, there are a lot of misconceptions about guide dogs. To clear up two big ones right off the bat: no, they’re not always on the clock, and yes, they do get to unwind, play and roam freely like every other cared for pet.

But there’s always more to know about these helpful pups. Here are some resources to answer some of your most pressing questions about the guide dog life. 

Read

Brian Switzer is the assistive technology instructor with Perkins’ Career Launch program, an ultra-athlete and, in his spare time, an author. His latest written work is published in the new book, "Walk In My Paws: An Anthology On Service Dogs," which is now available in print and on eReaders. NLS Bard is also producing audio cassette versions for libraries for the blind in the U.S. and neighboring islands. Pick up the book and flip to chapter two to learn more about Brian's very own service dog, Intrigue, which is by his side even when Brian is running grueling road races.

Watch

Perkins employee Tanja Milojevic sat down to explain why her guide dog, Nabu, is so important to her.

Other stories and resources

This primer will offer some historical and other fun facts about guide dogs.

Woof! 9 interesting — and surprising — facts about guide dogs

Check out the story of one “floppy-eared” golden retriever named after Perkins School for the Blind now living the guide life out in sunny California.

A puppy named Perkins

From Perkins’ archives, here’s an up close and personal look at some of the guide dogs who have roamed the globe throughout history.

Guide Dogs for the Blind: Scrapbooks of Clippings

Applying for a guide dog?

If you or someone you love might be in need guidance, support and love from a well trained unflappable service pup, you can apply for one through Guide Dogs for the Blind. You can expect to go through a phone consultation, an in-person visit and training sessions to get on the same page with your dog, and soon enough, you’ll be out in the world with a new trusty companion.

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