atty proudly introduced her sister-in-law, Sharon Casey, telling us that, in addition to being a guide dog puppy trainer, Sharon is controller of the family business, Casey Printing.

Sharon told us that “Patty”, her current puppy, is the 15th puppy
she has raised over the past 16 years. Sharon is also the leader of
the Salinas Puppy Raisers covering Monterey County. Patty is 14
months old and is wearing a green jacket and a gentle lead. Sharon
always carries kibbles with her so it can be used for positive rein-
forcement. Guide Dogs for the Blind breeds their own dogs and most are black or yellow labs. They look for specific traits in their dogs. Foremost, they need to be adaptable since they go from living with and bonding with their trainer then to a campus for more extensive training before being assigned to assisting a blind or vision impaired person. They need to be aware of their surroundings so they can keep their “person” from danger. Sharon gave us an example

of a blind person running into a partially closed garage door before he received a guide dog. The dog would need to be aware enough to stop a person from running into a hazard. Not all dogs will pass the rigid requirements for becoming a guide dog. Some will wind up in the breeding program while others are adopted, often by their pup- py trainer.

According to their website, at Guide Dogs for the Blind (GDB), we believe that everyone deserves to move through the world safely and confidently—to live the life they want to live. Our passionate community employs innovative practices to create life-changing partnerships. And, we advocate for the policy reforms that change how the world views blindness and disability. Because when everyone is empowered to participate, our communi- ties are stronger.

With world-class client services and a robust network of instructors, puppy raisers, donors, and volunteers, we prepare highly qualified guide dogs, provide guide dog readiness skills, and offer youth pro-
grams to empower individuals who are blind or visually impaired. GDB not only improves
mobility for our clients, we further inclusion.

As the largest guide dog school in North America, more than 16,000 guide dog teams have graduated from GDB from across the U.S. and Canada since our founding in 1942. All of the services for our clients are provided free of charge, including personalized training and ex- tensive post-graduation support, plus financial assistance for veterinary care, if needed. Our work is made possible by the generous support of our donors and volunteers; we receive no government funding.

Thank you Sharon and Patty for a fascinating presentation.