I’m partnering with Natural Balance, the maker of premium-quality pet food, and Guide Dogs for the Blind, a non-profit charitable organization that raises and trains exceptional guide dogs to serve the blind and visually impaired, to recognize the ‘Top Human-Canine Teams Who Make Us Believe.”
I am a city girl through-and-through, always wanted to be one, never want to stop being one. Becoming a career woman in the big city of Chicago was always a dream of mine and it came true. I loved commuting to downtown from my little single girl apartment on the the El, walking the crowded streets and all the hustle and bustle. You encounter all sorts of people working in the city and that’s where I first met a young man and his guide dog. Living independently in a high-rise apartment, he also performed in the subway with his guide dog laying by his feet, while fans tossed coins in his guitar case. I always wondered how he got by but now I know it’s because of his guide dog.
After reading nine inspirational human-canine teams, it was easy for me to identify with Ashleigh and Yuri. Ashleigh is a successful career woman in busy Manhattan. Visually impaired since birth, she found it increasingly difficult to get around with a cane, especially in the winter.
Despite growing up terrified of dogs, but with her family’s encouragement, Ashleigh began to research Guide Dogs for the Blind, finding that their positive reinforcement philosophy matched her beliefs and values.
Two years ago Yuri, a Guide Dog for the Blind-trained yellow lab, walked into her life, now so connected she can’t imagine life without him. According to Ashleigh, “Being paired with Yuri has changed my life in so many ways. In addition to being my eyes, keeping me safe, and giving me independence, he has also become my best friend—and is constantly by my side.
I am so glad to see Ashleigh living out her dream as a career woman in New York City, just like me, now safely traveling the subway, feeling safe and cared for with Yuri at her side. I see a lot of Ashleigh and Yuri in Dolly and I. Dolly is my best friend and always by my side too, she makes me feel safe when we’re out. I know that she would never let anyone try to hurt me.
Please consider donating to Guide Dogs to the Blind to help others like Ashleigh become independent, successful adults. Visiting the site, you can also read about the eight other amazing human-canine teams. There’s no better time than National Guide Dog Month to show your support for these incredible people and their four-legged superheroes.