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AFBAmerican Foundation®
for the Blind

Expanding possibilities for people with vision loss

Guide dogs, foundation VS. Desert

Hi guys! I'm new to the site and will start off by saying it is great to be here. I have a little question for those of you who know anything about either the Guide dog Foundation for the Blind, or Guide dogs of the Desert. I am wanting to get a guide dog in the future, and am allergic, so I have narrowed my options down to these two schools who use poodles. If other schools use poodles that are reputable, I would love to here about them too. But for the time being, can anyone give me info about the two schools I mentioned above. Any information at all would be super helpful.
If it is important, I am legally blind, 19 years old, and have lots of experience with dogs.

Thank you for the time guys.

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Re: Guide dogs, foundation VS. Desert

Well some people think it is cruel for guide dogs. I personally think using a guide dog can never be cruel for the dogs. Because the dogs are the most loyal pets and if they could be of any help to the owner they feel connected and part of the them.

Though it is of great help for the visually impaired to have a guide dog but the challenges could be resolved by using adaptive equipment.With the advancement in the technology the visually impaired are also benefited. One such product that helps them with the mobility and reduces the need of guide dogs and canes is Live Braille Mini.

It is an adaptive equipment which fits into a finger and gives haptic feedback in the form vibrations and allows the user to spot obstacles and walk independently.

Re: Guide dogs, foundation VS. Desert

Thanks for the response! Yes, I have looked over both their websites, and did contact GDD who gave me a quick phone call and discuses guide work. I was a bit turned off from their school because the waiting list for a guide is three years. An awful long time. I tried to contact the GDF via e mail, but they never got back to me, and this was months ago. Maybe I should try calling. I have excellent O&M skills, being taught since I was very young due to having the same eye condition since birth. This hasn't stopped me from having several close misses with cars though, despite having my cane out at the time. I am really hoping a guide dog will help me feel more safe. I also run into tree branches and other things at eye level quite often, and am hoping a guide could help prevent that too. It is a bit embarrassing, not to mention annoying. I actually train dogs (on quiet roads that I know) and I teach them to walk calmly next to me. But they have learned that I tend to walk into things, and despite being pet dogs, will pull me out of the way of things like bushes so that they don't have to walk into them as well. It always makes me laugh. hehe

Re: Guide dogs, foundation VS. Desert

You should probably contact the guide dog schools to get information from them directly. They will usually send out a package of information, or you can get a lot of information off their website. Have you read their FAQs? Also, there is usually someone there who would answer your questions.

Here are the links to their sites.

One question for you would be, how is your O&M training? You do need to have good O&M skills before you would be able to get a guide dog.

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