Posted By Vicki McClure Davidson on April 25, 2010
The first seeing eye dog was presented on this date in 1928 — 82 years ago today — to Morris S. Frank. This marked the date of when the idea of The Seeing Eye, a non-profit organization that trains dogs, with the time, patience, and devotion given by countless volunteers, to help those with vision impairment, was put into motion. One year later, The Seeing Eye was officially founded.
Since then, thousands upon thousands of guide dogs have been trained by volunteers to assist the blind and the visually impaired lead successful, normal lives.
These remarkable animals have made a tremendous difference in people’s lives.
The first school for training such dogs was established by the German government after World War I for the benefit of blinded veterans. Schools now exist in several European countries and the United States, where the pioneer Seeing Eye, Inc., founded by Dorothy Harrison Eustis in 1929 and established near Morristown, N.J., in 1932, is the best known. The master spends about a month at the school training with the already trained dog and is usually charged a nominal fee.
Although the German shepherd is by far the most widely used breed for guide-dog work, several other breeds (e.g., the golden retriever, the Labrador retriever, and the Doberman pinscher), have been trained successfully for this work. Approximately 10% of the blind population can use seeing-eye dogs successfully, that fraction including scores of persons who have achieved new independence through their assistance. Applicants may be rejected on the basis of sufficient useful vision, advanced age, poor health, or unsuitable temperament.
The Seeing Eye, the innovator and pioneer of dog guide services, tells the story of how the school opens the doors of success for people who are blind. Every day, people embark on new beginnings with their Seeing Eye dogs. This story is a celebration of where they finish.
The Seeing Eye: New Beginnings
NTTV News – Seeing Eye Dog Story
Seeing Eye Graduate: Kathy
Seeing Eye Dog in Winter – The Weather Network | 2008
Seeing Eye Dog – Fray