A Thought on Dog Guides in the Workplace


James Kutsch and his dog guide, Colby

[Editor's Note: The following post comes from Jim Kutsch, in light of September as National Guide Dog month. In addition to his role as president and CEO of The Seeing Eye, Jim is also a CareerConnect mentor.]

I first came to The Seeing Eye in 1970 as a 19-year-old sophomore at West Virginia University. My Seeing Eye dogs helped me through a number of careers, starting as a college professor and then as executive in the telecommunications industry. Today, I have the unique distinction of being the first Seeing Eye graduate to serve as its president.

Ideally, when I'm at work, my dog goes unnoticed. I've spoken to countless people in my office who, as they get up to leave, ask: "Where's Colby today?" He's usually sleeping under my desk.

It's important that co-workers remember that a guide dog has an important job to do. Many people love dogs and would be overjoyed at the thought of having a dog around their workplace—but please resist the urge to call the guide dog, or pet or feed him! It's best just to ignore the dog, but if you can't help yourself, ask permission first and please be willing to accept no for an answer.

My Seeing Eye dogs have been with me for every significant milestone in my life, both professional and personal. I believe, without a doubt, that having these dogs have helped me accomplish all I've done in my life.