Emer & Hope

A great impact on my life

I have been blind since birth, and have been fortunate enough to own four wonderful Guide Dogs.  

I trained and qualified a year ago with my current dog Hope – a beautiful,  calm  and intelligent golden Labrador/retriever mix.  

The training and after-care I received from Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind was simply outstanding. The classes in the purpose-built Training Centre gave me the space to get to know Hope and to re-familiarise myself with mobility techniques.   

Each of my Guide Dogs have had its own distinct personality, but they all have one thing in common. They have allowed me the independence and confidence to walk to work, to the shops and to leisure activities.  

Whether she is lying down calmly at a meeting, or soaking up the atmosphere in a music session, Hope is always by my side. The companionship and loyalty she gives is hard to articulate and is beyond price. Coupled with my own familiarity with my routes, I feel safe and secure with Hope, sure in the knowledge, from trust and experience built up over the last year, that she will keep me from danger. As a team we navigate any obstacles, brave the road crossings and cope with any distractions.  

To sum up, a Guide Dog opens the door to full participation in all aspects of life – and isn’t it surely this participation that makes us truly alive!  

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