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San Antonio nonprofit train provides guide dogs for visually impaired Texans

San Antonio – Since 1989, Guide Dogs of Texas, a non-profit guide dog provider, has worked to train and supply guide dogs for the visually impaired in Texas.

This group professionally breeds, trains, and pairs guide dogs with owners statewide. It is a service that brings friendship, freedom and mobility to those who need the help of guide dogs.

Judy St. Clair has been legally blind since 1993, and she has said that only her ability to travel independently with a guide dog has positively impacted her life.

“We trust each other and that’s a factor of trust. With a wand you basically have to know where you’re going, but that’s great because you can still hurt yourself. The dog will see something in advance and protect you, ”said Sainte-Claire.

According to the Guide Dogs of Texas, puppies are placed with volunteer puppy breeders until they are 14 to 16 months old. The San Antonio group said it had been successful in dealing with the future number of guide dogs, even in a pandemic, and needed a “puppy breeder” to support the program.

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Patty McCauley is a puppy breeder who has lived with her dog “nugget” since she was eight weeks old. She said she had played with the idea of ​​volunteering for a while, then decided how much her service would help those in need.

“I just raised a puppy, gave it love, took it out and introduced it to people, the environment and what the average person encounters every day, and I know you give back to someone. ‘a. I think it’s pretty awesome to know that you can help someone on your own, ”said McColly.

According to the group, “No previous experience is required and all training is provided. “

“Puppies are responsible for teaching puppies etiquette and providing them with a social experience for the first year of their life,” a nonprofit said.

Puppies also attend monthly meetings to share ideas and information, work on training techniques, and participate in social gatherings.

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Guide dog instructor Amy Samora said dogs do more than just increase mobility and independence.

“The dog brings a lot of happy faces, and it really encourages people to go to our customers to get involved with them, and it also brings all of this great social relationship.” Said Samora.

Guide dogs are obedient and friendly, but the instructor said it was important not to pet the guide dog. Guide dog owner St. Clair says he will not allow the dog when wearing the harness.

“If I let someone touch her with the harness, she would want to go too far and play. It would be fun, and the general idea of ​​working with a guide dog would be a distraction. But they will continue to focus, ”said St. Clair.

Guide dogs in Texas charge only $ 1 per specially trained dog, but the cost of breeding and training guide dogs can run as high as $ 50,000.

For more information or to register for the program, please visit www.guidedogsoftexas.org, call 210-366-4081 or email @ guidedogsoftexas.org.

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San Antonio nonprofit train provides guide dogs for visually impaired Texans

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Rodney N.

The author Rodney N.