Guide dogs help people with vision loss maintain an active lifestyle

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Guiding the Eyes of the Blind provides dogs for people with vision loss – and now it’s helping them maintain an active lifestyle.

Karen Dewing is an avid running and hiking enthusiast who began to lose her eyesight at the age of 33 and eventually became legally blind.

The Guiding Eyes Yorktown Heights installation paired Dewing with a black Labrador named Flint.

Dogs are trained to be able to run and maintain the safety of the dog and the client at a faster speed. The training lasts at least two years.

“They just don’t go running and follow their person around the park,” says Joleye Hollister of Guiding Eyes for the Blind. “They always take into account fallen branches, potholes, edging, anything that could pose a safety concern.”

Dewing says his racing days are far from over thanks to Guiding Eyes.

“To experience things that you have enjoyed in your life that have escaped and are coming back now is a great feeling,” says Dewing.

This month, Guiding Eyes for the Blind is hosting a fundraiser called Wag-A-Thon, a marathon that you and your dog can walk or run anywhere.

The money raised is used to provide these guide dogs free of charge to people with vision loss.


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