Saturday, August 28, 2010
Save The World Saturday: Working Class Dog
Jerry and my dad had known each other since they were kids, and Jerry had been progressively losing his eyesight for many years. When I met Jerry, his sight had reached the point where he needed the assistance of a guide dog: a big black lab named Topper.
I remember thinking that Topper was just the coolest dog. He was a powerful but friendly pup who would run and chase a ball for hours, wrestle around on the ground with my brother and I, and - if he ever got near a body of water big enough - swim until he was almost exhausted. I think what impressed me the most, though, was Topper's change in demeanor when Jerry needed his assistance.
With the words, "Topper, come!" the big dog became all business. When his harness and leash were on, nothing could distract him - not a cat, a ball, or even a big lake.
Growing up on and around cattle ranches, I was no stranger to the concept of working dogs, but Topper's work ethic and training absolutely amazed me. The thing is, as special as I thought Topper was, he really wasn't. All guide dogs are bred and trained to be ideal companions for people who need them.
So, today, I want to bring your attention to an organization that helps to provide dogs just like Topper to people just like Jerry and has been doing so for years: The Guide Dog Foundation.
Check out their website for ways that you can help, and check out this cool video I found on YouTube to give you an idea of just how long this organization has been around and doing good work: