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Shiny Happy Pets Issue

S GHTS HEAVEN set on a match made in by heidi jeter barks feature Do you remember the first time you laid eyes on a special pet and you felt an instant connection? Well, now imagine meeting a dog for the first time, hoping not only for a lifelong friendship, but for an animal who can literally show you the world. That’s exactly what happens when a person who is blind or visually impaired meets a new guide dog for the first time. Because of the unique nature of the relationship, guide dog teams form amazingly strong emotional bonds. In a sense, they are responsible for each other’s well-being; handlers rely upon their dogs to help them maneuver through the world, and dogs rely on their owners for love and care. Their personalities must click because pairing the right dog with the right person is essential to a team’s success and happiness. “As with any long-term relationship, the right match makes all the difference,” says Michelle Brier, Director of Marketing and Communications for Guiding Eyes for the Blind, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and one of a handful of guide dog schools in the United States. Because a strong bond is critical for success, guide dog schools take great care in matching dogs with their visually impaired students. But once in a while, the relationship doesn’t last as long as it should. photo: Liflander Photography


Shiny Happy Pets Issue
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