LDB_Update-Issue3-2009 by wuyunyi


									Leader Dog Update – Issue 3 – 2009

Message from the President – Greg Grabowski
Leader Dog Youth
What They Can Teach Us
It‟s an old saying among actors, “Never work with kids or
animals.” Needless to say, we don‟t have many actors hanging
around Leader Dog.
  This issue of Update is filled with kids. Young people who are
challenging themselves to become better people, to have new
experiences, to help themselves or help others. Some are working
to accept and conquer their sight limitations by learning how to
use new technology and work together as a team. Many are
raising money to support people they have never met, people who
live in other states and foreign countries. Others are raising
puppies to be future Leader Dogs knowing that one day they will
have to part with their canine friend just when that dog has
wriggled its way into their heart.
  These kids are energetic, sometimes loud, but always motivated
by what comes next. What new skills can they learn, what new
people can they meet, and what can they do to help more?
  These kids are teachers. They show us to look beyond today to
what we can do to make tomorrow better, to have a brighter
future – whether for ourselves or for someone else.
  They are all to be commended. They are setting and
accomplishing goals that would challenge many adults. And
they‟re doing it with huge smiles on their faces.
  Kids, thanks for the life lesson.
    Alumni Spotlight
Alumni Spotlight
A Bob Of All Trades
By: Jaret Bozigian – Guest Writer
Robert Campbell is not only a college professor and the Blinded
Veterans Association‟s Missouri chapter president - he is also a
friend; a friend to his Leader Dog “Caesar.”
  Robert has been an adjunct professor at Baker University, a
small university in Kansas, since 1991. During this period he has
fought, and won, a battle with leukemia and lost his sight.
Through it all, he kept teaching. His Leader Dog “Caesar” is
instrumental in helping him navigate campus. “Caesar helps me
negotiate difficult areas that have steps and sidewalks on hills,”
says Robert with a voice filled with pride. “The students love
Caesar. I take him out of harness in the classroom during break
time because the students simply cannot resist reaching down and
petting him.”
  Though Caesar does a good job finding the classroom, Robert
needed to learn to trust him as a guide. One time Robert thought
Caesar was trying to pass the door to his classroom and
redirected Caesar into the room he thought was the right one. But
Robert was wrong and found himself in the middle of another
teacher‟s lecture. From then on, he has always trusted Caesar‟s
instinct. “As I walked down the hall to the right room, I thought I
could hear Caesar laughing,” Robert laughed. “I am sure he was
  Robert is also heavily involved in the Blinded Veterans
Association (BVA). He moved from secretary to treasurer then
president for the Missouri Regional Chapter. He is also on the BVA
National Board of Directors. Through his BVA involvement, Robert
has attended sessions with the joint house and senate veteran‟s
affairs committees and participated in a wreath laying ceremony
at Arlington cemetery.
  With all that he has given the BVA, they have given right back
to him. Robert credits his BVA involvement with learning about
and ending up at Leader Dog. Leader Dog, in turn, gave him
  Caesar is a golden retriever/labrador mix who bears a striking
resemblance to Marley from the movie “Marley and Me.” Robert
found out about the resemblance when he went to see the movie.
“All the kids in the theatre were saying „Look Mom, there‟s
Marley!‟” Robert said.
  “Caesar really is wonderful. And I was a guy who was totally in
love with my white cane, I used to call it my one-legged dog,”
Robert said. “But a four-legged dog is definitely better than a one-
legged dog.”
Alumni Letters
Dear Leader Dog,
I wanted to let you know that the most amazing and wonderful
friend I have ever had or known has passed away. You gave me a
gift whose name was Sparkle. My instructor, Sue, introduced us
and my life was forever changed. Because of Sparkle I finished
college ahead of schedule and began a family. I wanted you to
know that she not only watched over me, she watched over my
precious children as well. Her love and loyalty cannot be described
with words. We spent almost eleven years together, and for that I
thank all of you.
  She went peacefully, in my arms and looking into my eyes. She
was my eyes. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for giving
Sparkle to me. We are all the better because she touched our
lives. I believe that she is an extra special angel, as are all of the
beloved dogs who changed someone‟s life for the better.
Thank you,
Kellie Givens

Dear Leader Dog,
My Dad, Billy Hendrix, has had two great Leader Dogs, Mason and
Walnut. Walnut died yesterday with my dad by his side. Walnut
was a great joy not only for my dad but also the family.
  Walnut was a very gentle, kind, loving Leader Dog. He took on
the personality of a human instead of a dog. He loved my dad as
my dad loved him. He was a great joy for all of us. Walnut was a
son, a brother, an uncle and a Very Best Friend.
  I would personally like to thank everyone who has played a part
in raising, feeding, supporting, and training a Leader Dog. I Thank
Teresa Hunt
Daughter of Billy Hendrix, Sister of Walnut

Old Piece of Leather
I have an old piece of leather that‟s long and brown and smooth,
with metal clips and a ring that form a leash so strong and true.
One side has a brand that boldly says LEADER DOG with pride.
On the edge are nip marks, he put there on our very first day,
as if to say this leash now is mine.
I have an old piece of leather that‟s soft and warm and strong,
it carries all the memories of miles we walked along.
Curbs and doorways that were found and hazards avoided,
streets safely crossed and airports we smartly traversed.
Most of all I will remember the joy that comes from independent
I have an old piece of leather that means the world to me,
because it was Jack‟s, my first LEADER DOG, who surrendered his
eyes, his intelligence, his love and loyalty.
Dedicated to his calling, eager to be going and steadfast to the
end, he gave me his skills, his focus and his eagerness to please.
These are the memories that will always remain with me.
I have an old piece of leather that I will always keep,
for when I hold it I feel him there, so warm and so strong.
Forever linked through a bond, that only he and I will share.
Carroll Jackson, in memory of
Leader Dog “Jack” January 31, 1996 – June 1, 2009

Dear Leader Dog,
In a cold month of January - that was when my life changed. In
the class of Leader Dogs for the Blind many expectations were
met, accompanied by a fantastic group of students, lots of snow
and a great team of instructors. She appeared, a yellow labrador
named Ronja. A great challenge began a great change in my life.
Not only with more security by walking through the streets of my
city, Belo Horizonte, but by what it means to be next to wonderful
  From Brazil, I want to thank all of you for the opportunity to
share one month together in Rochester and now, to be sharing my
life with Ronja.
Juan P. Culasso
Summer Youth Programs
Gaining Skills and Making Friends
Summer is a time for fun, excitement, learning new things and
making new friends. This is the basis for Leader Dog‟s summer
youth programs for teenagers ages 16-19 years. This summer we
ran two new programs – one highlighting life with a Leader Dog,
and one with more traditional camp experiences.
  Both camps have one very important component in common;
they teach the kids how to use a Trekker GPS system. Not only do
they learn how to use the handheld GPS device, they receive a
free unit to take home with them! These camps are gaining
popularity, and with good reason -

Trekker Camp Goes to the Dogs
By: Jaret Bozigian – Guest Writer
If the founders of Leader Dogs for the Blind were here today,
Koby Cox would have something to say to them. “I would tell
them that they created the neatest dog guide school there could
ever be.” This is high praise from a 16 year old.
  In today‟s world of electronic gadgetry, the Trekker GPS, which
normally takes an adult about a week to learn, gets mastered by
teenagers much sooner. After just two days of using the Trekker,
the kids were out and about using it to its full potential -
sometimes teaching the instructors a thing or two about the
  The speed at which the kids learn the GPS system allow the
campers to do a variety of other activities during the week
including biking, kayaking, and learning about life with a Leader
Dog. The kids met all these challenges with positive attitudes and
enough laughter to make this experience an all around success.
  “I think that my experience here has been the most freeing and
liberating,” said Justin Louchart, 16. “Everyone here works
because they are passionate about it and they teach in a practical
manner and know what they are doing.” This course was taught
with a charisma that was memorable. “Even the studying was
turned into a social gathering and its fun,” Justin said. “Far better
than other establishments.”
  Katie Kelel, 17, attended Trekker Camp last year and returned
this year to be a counselor. “I really liked that the suggestions we
made last year were taken into account this year,” said Katie. “We
actually got to hang out with the dogs for a day and that is
something that we didn‟t get to do last year, and I really think
that was my favorite part.” Not only did this opportunity provide
Katie with a Trekker and teach her how to use it, but it opened up
new doors as well….kennel doors. “I want to come back to get a
dog,” Katie said. “I am going to wait until I really need one,
maybe when I go to college.” Katie is hoping to attend Michigan
State University next year.
  Koby Cox also wants to come back for a Leader Dog. “The most
important thing I took from this is to come back and get a dog.”

Trekspedition at Bear Lake Camp
By: Shannon Moore – Guest Writer
In July, eight kids came to Lions Bear Lake Camp from across
America and Canada for the opportunity to meet other kids li ke
themselves, learn how to use a Trekker GPS, and face new
challenges on a daily basis. The last full day at camp proved a
memorable one for the campers as they, as a group, tackled the
“Challenge Course.”
  Since one of the course goals is for everyone to work together,
the campers started with some warm-up games to practice
working as a team. One of the games involved the campers
standing shoulder to shoulder and holding a foam ball or beanie
baby between them. The challenge was to move the line forward,
right, left and back without dropping a ball or beanie. This was not
easy, especially when everyone was shaking with laughter, but
the campers used good communication to make it work.
  A short hike through the woods brought the group to their first
real challenge – a rope swing. The activity required the kids, one
by one, to swing from one low platform to another, but there was
a twist; the kids had to stay on the second platform until everyone
had swung. “Getting everyone on the platform was the hardest
thing, it was outrageous,” said Raven Tolliver, 16. “But the
challenge was like the rest of camp – fun, entertaining, and a bit
laid back.”
  For some of the campers, the challenge course was not the
hardest thing they had to do at camp. Rochelle Schmitt, 17, was
challenged by having to learn all the buttons on the Trekker, there
are 39, but found it worthwhile. “The Trekker will be very helpful
in independent travel and living,” said Rochelle. “Definitely come
to camp because it pays off. You get a Trekker, make a ton of
memories and make new friends.” Rochelle described her
experience at camp as absolutely fabulous! This opinion was
seconded by Aarius White, 18. “I had a lot of fun and I get to use
some new technology.”
  The Bear Lake campers overcame fears and faced challenges
throughout the week. Maybe most importantly, they made
memories that will stay with them forever and friends to last a

Department Feature
Taking GPS to the Oregon Trail
By: Meredith Newhouse
This past June, Sarah Johnson and I were invited to participate in
a trip down the Oregon Trail in Wyoming. As Orientation and
Mobility instructors for Leader Dog, our goal was to find out if a
Trekker Breeze GPS could be programmed to allow a person who
is visually impaired to follow a recreational trail on their own.
  We joined a group of nine kids and one counselor from
Discovery Trails, an organization that runs adventure experiences
for the visually impaired. The group was reenacting the Donner
Party experience by living the pioneer lifestyle, eating wild game
and listening to historical stories from local guides.
  After meeting up with the group, we said our “Howdy-do‟s,” and
headed west to the base camp. We were immediately thrown into
the pioneer life – putting up tents, fighting off red ants, eating a
dinner of moose stew and cabbage – fun stuff.
  The next day, after lots of coffee, we headed out to go rock
climbing. It was a once in a lifetime adventure to be visually
impaired and to go rock climbing, the kids truly felt like pioneers
(so did I). Next, we hiked the Continental Divide where we
emptied our canteen and watched half our water run to the Pacific
Ocean and half to the Atlantic.
  Finally, it was time to return to the 21st Century and make our
own history by using the Breeze GPS system to blaze the
unknown environment. Sarah and I got out the Breeze units and
showed the group how to use them. The kids picked up the
technology quickly and were soon out-hiking us. The counselors
were amazed at the independence the kids displayed and how well
they used the GPS in the rough environment. At this point the trail
was a fairly defined path with slight bends in the road and sage
brush that went on for miles. The kids were adapting so easily to
the GPS that they needed to be reminded to use their canes to
guide them along the path. Neither mud puddles nor the soggy
shoes that they caused stopped the kids from exploring the trail
as far as we would let them.

Donor Profile
Lon and Barbara Grossman
Donors for Over 30 Years
Lon‟s story:
My father was blind. In those days, blind people had many
stumbling blocks. My family was poor and my dad needed help,
Leader Dog was very gracious and extremely kind to my dad.
They gave him a dog and asked for nothing in return. They not
only trained him to use the dog, they also gave him a life of
  Dad‟s Leader Dog was a wonderful white shepherd named
Peanut. Sure, she gave my dad independence, confidence, and a
pair of eyes, but more importantly, Peanut was the soul of our
family - I mean the real soul of the Grossman family. I still have
Peanut‟s dog tags on my key ring and a picture of her in my
wallet. When Peanut died, Barbara and I felt as if we lost a child.
  The experience my family had with Leader Dog happens all the
time with a recipient‟s family. I have heard repeatedly how
someone‟s dog made a difference in all the family members‟ lives,
not just the person who is blind.
  The most precious gift that Barbara and I have ever received
was a thank you note from a student, Starla Bidwell. The note was
written in her own handwriting, on a piece of paper torn from a
notebook. Starla spent her time at Leader Dog in the room that
Barbara and I sponsored. In her note she thanked us for her room
and explained how Leader Dog has improved her life. That
precious note is framed and hanging in my house. Nothing that I
have means more to me than that note from Starla.
  Barbara and I started giving to Leader Dog when we were just
starting out as a married couple. Although we didn‟t have much
money and could not give very often, we did what we could. But I
can tell you, the saying is true, “The more I give, the more I‟m
blessed.” We get an incredible amount of emotional satisfaction
out of giving to Leader Dog. We believe it is the responsibility of
all people to help those in need.
  We want to make sure other visually impaired, blind or deaf-
blind people receive the guidance, independence and blessings
that my father received from Leader Dog. Barbara and I
encourage everyone to tell their family and friends about Leader
Dogs for the Blind and to donate. People do not have to give a lot,
but everyone needs to give. By doing so, you offer a better life for
people who are blind and make the world a better place.

Mission Moment
“Zoe has fit in great in all aspects of my life. It‟s funny how she‟s
kind of slid in and made a niche for herself in the hearts and lives
of my friends and family. She loves going to church and loves it
when we volunteer there on Thursdays. As soon as we enter the
parking lot, she wags her tail and gets all excited.
  She seems to anticipate my needs. For instance, when I take
her to relieve herself at certain times of the day I use my cane
and walk her a block or so up the sidewalk and back. If someone
or something is coming toward us, she‟ll turn her face toward me
and put her nose in the palm of my hand that is holding the leash.
It‟s so wonderful because I don‟t see that stuff and she gives me a
“heads up” that is so great.
  Everyone seems to love her and she everyone. We‟ve made a
few dog friends too and she loves to play with them. She‟s even
gone on a couple of play dates.”
Julie Stevenson
Ontario, Canada

Corporate Donor Profile
Carhartt, Inc.
Helping to Ensure the Safety of Leader Dog Instructors
It was a cloudy spring afternoon in Rochester when Leader Dog
Instructor Melissa was out working with a student/dog team. She
heard the speeding car before she even saw it. In a split second
Melissa made a decision that may have saved her student‟s life,
even though she put her own in danger. She jumped between the
student and the car, pushing the student to safety and getting hit
by the car herself.
  The student and dog were not injured and Melissa was treated
for minor injuries at a local hospital and required time to
recuperate. Unfortunately, incidents such as this happen to
instructors who spend their days outdoors helping students learn
to work with their dog guides. Just about every trainer has at least
one „close-call‟ story.
  Upon hearing Melissa‟s story, a generous donor came forward to
donate bright reflective vests for trainers to wear while working in
the field with students. Carhartt, Inc. did not hesitate when asked
for help. “Our family has supported Leader Dog in the past and
when we heard about their need for high-visibility outerwear for
their trainers, it just seemed like a great chance to help,” said
Carhartt, Inc. President Mark Valade.
  Since Leader Dog trainers have been wearing the vests, there
have been no incidents such as Melissa‟s and everyone feels a bit
safer. “In my 27 years at Leader Dog, I‟ve had plenty of close
calls with cars,” said Keith McGregor, deaf-blind program
instructor. “The vests from Carhartt are awesome. They are
comfortable and they allow drivers to see us from a much further
distance. I feel much safer wearing my vest.”

Lead in the Holidays
Supporting Leader Dogs for the Blind
Please join us… for the 18th annual Lead in the Holidays
fundraiser for an evening that artfully combines holiday charity
and holiday cheer. This year the event is being moved to a new
day – Saturday, November 21st. The event will feature wonderful
silent and live auction items, an impressive selection of hors
d‟oeuvres from some of Metro Detroit‟s best restaurants. Live
auction items include: Snowmass, Colorado vacation; Scottsdale,
Arizona Golf Outing
Saturday, November 21, 2009
New day this year!
Royal Park Hotel, Rochester
For more information visitleaderdog.org/leadin

Planned Giving
Have You Forgotten Something?
Ways to Plan for Your Future
We have so many things to remember in any given day, we
sometimes forget one of the most important things: planning for
our future.
  Did you know that a majority of people pass away without a will
or an estate plan? As uncomfortable as it is, we must think about
what will happen to our assets when we are gone. A great first
step is thinking about how you want to distribute your assets, how
you would like to take care of your children, grandchildren, other
loved ones, and Leader Dogs for the Blind. The following are just
two of the several ways you can take action on those thoughts.
 - Complete your will or trust bequest today. The internet has
  sites that provide ready made forms for a will and other estate
  planning tools. If you‟d rather work with a person, attorneys
  that specialize in estate planning are readily available in most
 - Designate your life insurance policy with more than one
  beneficiary. You can also purchase an additional policy and
  leave the assets to a specific beneficiary. This can be an
  inexpensive way to make a substantial bequest.
If you have any questions regarding wills or estate planning,
please contact Roberta Trzos, CFRE, director of personal giving, at
248.659.5014 or rtrzos@leaderdog.org.

Lights,Cameras, Action
Puppy and Breeding Stock Day 2009
Even several hours of early morning rain couldn‟t dampen the
spirits of the 400+ attendees at our 22nd Annual Puppy and
Breeding Stock Day. This year‟s theme of “Lights, Cameras,
Action” brought out the „actor within‟ as both people and dogs got
glamorous for their walk down the red carpet or dressed as their
favorite Hollywood character.
  Attendees enjoyed getting training tips from Leader Dog staff,
listening to LDB graduate Kevin O‟Callaghan speak about his
experiences with his Leader Dog “Flynn,” and sharing their
favorite dog stories with each other. Thousands of pictures were
snapped and hundreds of happy, tired dogs were taken home
(some in the arms of their raisers) by the end of the day.
  We‟d like to thank our corporate sponsors, Purina and Coastal
Pet Products, for their support of the event.

Thank you Note…
To the Editor of Update:
This is to say “Thank you” for including us on the distribution list
of your fine publication, Update. It is read from cover to cover,
and much information is gained; even though, as a former
Rochester Hills resident, we are very familiar with Leader Dog.
  One of your Alumni Letters struck a note with us. This was
about the actions of Ozzie in saving his owner, David Cline.
(Update Issue 2-2009) The picture indicated that Ozzie was a
German Shepherd. Years ago, we were fortunate enough to
become owners of a retired Leader Dog, Luthor, also a German
Shepherd. Luthor was special to us, who have been blessed with
sight. We noticed that Luthor tensed up and almost exhibited
animosity when he saw or heard a delivery truck. We
subsequently learned that, as a Leader Dog, Luthor had an
experience almost like David Cline‟s, but with a delivery truck
which ignored the pedestrian and roared around a corner without
  Luthor is gone now, but not forgotten. We purchased a Leader
Dog brick in Luthor‟s honor which we were able to visit last
  Wishing your entire organization continued success in your
Mr. & Mrs. Richard F. Aust, Sr.
Bradenton, Florida

Wisconsin’s Mellen School
They Want to Make a Difference
The kids at Mellen Elementary School found a great thing five
years ago – Leader Dog‟s Kids N‟ Coins program. They enjoyed
the program so much that yearly participation has become sort of
a tradition.
  “All the classrooms pick a team name then we set out buckets
so the kids can see how many coins they have collected,” said
Ruth Gilgen, Mellen‟s title one and reading specialist. “The team
that donates the most money gets an ice cream party sponsored
by our local Lions Club. I think our best year was around 700
dollars, which isn‟t bad for a school our size.”
  Ruth‟s favorite part about the program is the awareness it
brings to the kids. “Just reaching out and doing something, the
community service aspect of it. And even though Leader Dog is
pretty far away from us, it‟s really world-wide and I like the kids
to know they can make a difference in the world and not just in
our little niche in Wisconsin.”
  The kid‟s favorite part about the program is the dogs, though
they always enjoy watching the DVD about Leader Dog. “The
video just brings a tear to my eye every time I watch it - and I
have been watching it for years.”
  The kids get so involved in this program that sometimes,
unbeknownst to their parents, they try to donate a larger
sum…say a hundred dollar bill. When one girl brought in a
hundred dollars, Ruth called the parents to let them know. They
replaced the donation with one that was more affordable for them.
  “It really touches me how much the kids want to help and it‟s
not just the competition, they really want to help these people and
the dogs,” Ruth said. “They want to make a difference.”
  If you‟d like to bring Kids N‟ Coins to your community, visit the
Leader Dog website at leaderdog.org/kidsncoins.

Kids Being Kids
Wadena-Deer Creek-Bluffton Leo Club
The Wadena-Deer Creek-Bluffton Leo‟s Club of Minnesota was
honored this year by Lions District 5M-9 with a Founder‟s Tribute
award. The award honored their $800 donation to Leader Dog.
The plaque read “Young People Making a Big Difference.” “The
kids were a little bit amazed that we would honor them for
something they feel is part of their mission to help make the world
a better place,” said Dick Kimball, District 5M-9 Leader Dog co-
  One way the kids raised funds was by providing services to local
Lions Clubs for various functions. “So often young people in
general take a bad rap for the few that make headlines for their
outlandish behavior,” said Kimball. “This group of young people,
under the guidance of a great advisor and strong support from
local Lions Clubs, has made themselves into an involved,
dedicated and community-minded organization. The key, I
believe, is to let kids be kids [have fun] while doing things that
make their communities better.”
  Leader Dog thanks the Wadena-Deer Creek-Bluffton Leos and
the local Lions Clubs that support them.

The Leader Dogs Classic
23 Years and Growing Strong in Arizona
The Leader Dogs Classic in Arizona is a two-day event that is
planned, organized and staged by an organization of 100% local
community volunteers. The objective each year is to raise money
for Leader Dog.
  The tradition continued this year as the 23rd Annual Classic was
held at the private Ancala Country Club in North Scottsdale, AZ.
The Classic has grown substantially over the years with this year‟s
event hosting over 117 golfers with 100 volunteers and supporters
participating in the tournament. The gross contributions exceeded
  This year Puppy Raiser Gary Frick and Future Leader Dog
“Buddy” attend the event. Buddy endeared himself to all the event
participants and „stole the show‟ everywhere he went. He even
posed for pictures with each of the foursomes!
  Leader Dogs for the Blind would like to thank everyone that
volunteered, sponsored and participated in the Classic!
| 2009 - 15
Recent Graduating Classes
Class 09-11
Team Leader/Instructor Dave Heins
Interpreter Evelyn Brindle
Joaquin Gil Arpal and “Logan” Shepherd (Puppy Raiser: Suzie &
Roy Ferguson)
Jorge Duran and “Dodger” Black Lab (Puppy Raiser: Leroy Seiler)
Alan Escola Font and “Uri” Black Lab (Puppy Raiser: Eric Miller)
Diego Tena and “Ivory” Golden (Puppy Raiser: Vera & Mike
John Fagot and “Izzy” Black Lab (Puppy Raiser: Karen & David

Christopher Milbern and “Austin” Yellow Lab (Puppy Raiser: Price
Deaf-Blind Instructor Ellie Carlson
Julia Stetson and “Cortina” Black Lab (Puppy Raiser: Ginger &
Glenn Rossow)
Kathleen Spear and “Jessie” Lab/Golden Cross (Puppy Raiser:
Diane Lake)

Kathy Martinez and “Kimberly” Black Lab (Puppy Raiser: Wayne
Quillen & Chad Wadsley)
Jerry Sanders and “Kyla” Black Lab (Puppy Raiser: Wendy Wright)
Apprentice Instructor Jill Vani
Elizabeth Clark and “Jersey” Chocolate Lab (Puppy Raiser: Cherri
& Rick Barrett)
Susan Gray and “Rascal” Yellow Lab (Puppy Raiser: Jon

Apprentice Instructor Kevin Thompson
Aaron Smith and “J.R” Collie (Puppy Raiser: Carol & John Lair)
Afiya Jackson and “Kela” Black Lab (Puppy Raiser: Kristin Hadacz)
William Gillard and “Lily” Black Lab (Puppy Raiser: Pam Stamm)
Donna Miller and “Carman” Yellow Lab (Puppy Raiser: Shirley

Team Supervisor/Instructor Wendy Eichler
Colleen Day and “Georgiana” Golden (Puppy Raiser: Patricia Frost)
George Hagan and “Bart” Black Lab (Donated)
James Kennemer and “Hirshel” Chocolate Lab (Donated)

Class 09-12
Jerry Bobbitt and “Lincoln” Golden (Puppy Raiser: Joan
Nancy Lepkowski and “Usher” Golden (Puppy Raiser: Marge
Apprentice Instructor Catherine Palid
Harry Wilber and “Gus” Yellow Lab (Puppy Raiser: Jill Moore &
Bethany Seymour)
Derek Moore and “Caspian” Black Lab (Puppy Raiser: Sarah

Alice Massa and “Zoe” Black Lab (Puppy Raiser: Lisa Baird)
Team Leader/Instructor Jessica Bimmerman
Jeremy Shawver and “Monti” Black Lab (Puppy Raiser: Earnest
William Deatherage and “P.J.” Golden (Puppy Raiser: Carol Foster)

Apprentice Instructor Linda French
Cassandra Gentry and “Bijou” Golden (Puppy Raiser: Kathy Lanza)
Denise Schweizer and “Cheba” Yellow Lab (Puppy Raiser:
Christopher Daya)
Lora Ireland and “Trice” Black Lab (Puppy Raiser: Robert Odem)
Teresa Arroyo and “Hailey” Yellow Lab (Puppy Raiser: Sharlene
Kenneth Wolfgang and “Truman” Yellow Lab (Puppy Raiser:
Rhonda Grubb)

Instructor Randy Horn
Aubry Morley and “Regan” Yellow Lab (Puppy Raiser: Powers
Correctional Facility)
Linda Overmoyer and “Roxy” Black Lab (Puppy Raiser: Patricia
Virginia Hester and “Maggie” Yellow Lab (Puppy Raiser: Kathy
Mark Agnello and “Polaris” Black Lab (Puppy Raiser: Joann

Class 10-01
Instructor Laura Burke
Danielle West and “Sugar” Yellow Lab (Puppy Raiser: Nan
Esther Shumaker and “Franklin” Golden (Puppy Raiser: Carol &
Mike Mordarski)
Joyce Smith and “Obadiah” Shepherd (Puppy Raiser: Karin Pierce)
Joseph LaPlaceliere and “Kokua” Yellow Lab (Puppy Raiser: Lynne
Zielinski & Vince Pinelli)
Team Supervisor/Instructor Debbie Komondy
Donna Long & “River” Golden (Puppy Raiser: Jason Vanderweide &
Marvin Harlow)
Margaret Sutton & “Wynston” Golden (Puppy Raiser: Christine
Heather Berg & “Maverick” Black Lab (Puppy Raiser: Melissa &
Dale Howard)

Apprentice Instructor Sue Hackman
Jennifer Williams & “Sonar” Golden (Puppy Raiser: Mary & Allan
Natasha Sokol & “Savannah” Golden (Puppy Raiser: Marilee & Phil
Gail Lasko & “Harbor” Golden (Puppy Raiser: Shannon Collins)
Kimberly Howe & “Ruby” Black Lab (Puppy Raiser: Jan VanWulfen)
William Boothman & “Bukki” Black Lab (Puppy Raiser: Jeffrey

Team Leader/Instructor Jamie Togal
Cathy Burke & “Monet” Golden (Puppy Raiser: Heather Vega &
Lori Riordan)
Carl Darling & “Kona” Black Lab (Puppy Raiser: Julie Hogenson)
Raymond Jackson & “Shane” Yellow Lab (Puppy Raiser: Sherrill
Roy Wardle & “Leo” Chocolate Lab (Puppy Raiser: Josh Sherman)
Class 10-02
Apprentice Instructor Alison Roberts
Apprentice Instructor Ana Williams
Teresita Rivera & “Phoebe” Yellow Lab (Puppy Raiser: Elaine &
John Berkheiser)
Barbara Robinson & “Tootsie” Poodle (Puppy Raiser: Samantha
Tyler Butler & “Rogan” Yellow Lab (Puppy Raiser: Ruth & Russell

Rose-Marie Litwin & “Velvet” Black Lab (Puppy Raiser: Brenda
Apprentice Instructor Jenny Sanderson
Coleamer Hodges & “Bronte” Black Lab (Puppy Raiser: Karen West
& Ernie Schmatz)
Cynthia Robinson & “Joplin” Golden (Puppy Raiser: Amy Kessler &
Jim Slowik)

Team Leader/Instructor Kevin Ihrke
Fred Hans & “Gabby” Black Lab (Puppy Raiser: Kara McGregor)
Gretchen Maune & “Keeper” Golden (Puppy Raiser: Beverly
Lauri Potter & “Kasey” Poodle (Donated)
Danny Murphy & “Gerty” Black Lab (Puppy Raiser: Jean & Dennis

Circle of Life
News about our canine partners
New Arrivals
Basha (hosted by Ann & Kipp Bonds) x Hunter (hosted by Beth
  Mattei) - 7 labs
Dreams (hosted by Lisa Holiday Family) x Sailor (hosted by Mike
  Bond) – 6 labs
Camy (hosted by John Maher) x Tigger (hosted by Robert & Robyn
  Gage) – 6 labs
Gretchen (hosted by Barb Oprea) x Winston (hosted by Joe
  Caruana) – 1 german shepherd
Tradition (hosted by Sterlie & Janet Miller) x Seamus (service
  donated by Laura Michaels) – 7 labs
Lacy (hosted by Janice White) x Deacon (service donated by Carol
  Ruby) – 7 goldens
Donna (hosted by Diana Weber) x Sy (hosted by Katie Olds
  Family) – 7 labs
Polo (hosted by Cichon Family) x Rocky (hosted by Jean Jacquin)
  – 6 goldens
Dora (hosted by Dawn Karagosian Family) x Jonah (hosted by
  Shari & George Sprouse) – 5 labs
Charmed (hosted by Carol & Randy Kirkbride) x Ice (hosted by Pat
  Boyd) – 7 labs
Gem (hosted by Margaret Fee) x Tigger (hosted by Robert &
  Robyn Gage) – 6 labs
Indy (hosted by Pam Bannick) x Quincy (hosted by Gary & Sandy
  Frick) – 7 goldens
Uno (hosted by Nathaniel & Bryn Brock) x Hardy (hosted by
  Cynthia & Gerald Sweet) – 8 labs
Casey (hosted by Jessie Kramer Family) x Midas (hosted by
  Tammy Bartz) – 9 lab/golden cross

Breeding Stock Retired
Baxter – male lab (hosted by Kay Griswold Family)

Breeding Stock Deceased
Elkie – female german shepherd 14 years (hosted by Barb Oprea
Sassy – female lab 15 yrs (hosted by Sue Satow Family)

Leader Dogs Retired
Abbey – Allen Childs
Alex – Pedro Torregrosa
Amber – Nancy Lepkowski
Ann – Caren Miller
Autumn – Isabel Orozco
Basil – Gerardo Rodriguez
Beacon - Ralph Bradmon
Buelah – Garbrielle Labossiere
Buddy – Ronald Reda
Caspian – Miguel Gonzalez
Chloe – Jennifer Childs
Colburn – Preston Riley
Coleman – Katherine Mahler
Cooper – Russell Richardson
Darby – Erin Magoon
Dekar – Eldridge Harley
George – Modesto Lopez
Harley – Kevin Suggs
Inova – Roberta McCall
Jake – Roy Roberts
Killian – Howard Dulaney
Kodiak – Randy Zarza
Libby – Carolyn Williams
Maddox – David Anspach
Michael – Harold Riley
Mina – Nancy Smith
Myrtle – Lora Ireland
Noah – Jeff Schmitter
Pilot – Terry Dillivan
Pokie – Christine Williams
Pollywog – Kathryn Lynch
Quinn – Gail Bartels
Quinn – Hector Solano
Royce – Linda Overmoyer
Sideon – Alice Ritchhart
Spark – Diane Morton
Valor – Marti Geisenhaver

Leader Dogs Deceased
Abby – Marie Berube
Betsy – Laida Juarez
Brandy – Keith Kasia
Cody – Dane Ford
Cooper – Marie Salvatore
Daisey – Enid Dowling
Evan – Dan Weiner
Gracie – Alice Fields
K.C. – Michael Hoffman
Krista – Mirella Maurus
Libby – Neil Vosburgh
Luke – Kathy Hill
Molly – Nicole Beauregard
Nat – Elizabeth Parkhurst
Prophet – Francisco Balaguer
Samantha – Margaret Moore
Skillet – Doris Porter
Theo – Maria Briz
Tillforge – Donald Williamson
Walker – Enrique Magallanes
Zeus – Beverly Powell
Zoey – Shirley Cassity

Calendar of Events
September 11 Trekker class begins
September 20 Dog Guide class 10-04 begins
September 27 Accelerated Mobility Program class begins
October 9 Trekker class begins
October 18 Dog Guide class 10-05 begins
October 25 Accelerated Mobility Program class begins
November 6 Trekker class begins
November 15 Accelerated Mobility Program class begins
November 15 Dog Guide class 10-06 begins
December 4 Trekker class begins
January 2 Accelerated Mobility Program class begins
January 10 Dog Guide class 10-07 begins
January 29 Trekker class begins
December 4 Trekker Trax class begins
September 23 Orientation, Mobility and Leader Dog
Travel seminar begins
November 21 18th Annual Lead In the Holidays

Privacy Statement
Leader Dogs for the Blind does not sell, share, rent or otherwise
disclose personal information regarding our donors to other

The mission of Leader Dogs for the Blind is to enhance the
lives of people who are blind and visually impaired.

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