Friday, June 15, 2012

Guide Dogs, Service Dogs, and Dogs that Make a Difference!

What an delight to talk with Holly McKnight.  Holly is the President of the Arlington Texas Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind as well as is involved with Guide Dogs for the Blind and Lone Star Puppy Raisers. Holly was born with the back third of her brain outside of her skull… the part of the brain that normally controls vision. Due to this, Holly was able to train with her first guide dog to assist her with everyday living when she was starting college. Her current guide dog, her third, is Pollyann. Holly will share lots of information on the show today about guide dogs… their training, their life, qualifications to be matched with one, types of dogs used, etc. Holly also got to sing at Carnegie Hall- what a thrill that would have been.

Holly talked about the various ways that dogs help individuals, for example guide dogs.  The training process for guide dogs is ongoing, and the benefits and sense of freedom they provide to their human companion is incredible. Holly described this as increasing her mobility!  Her dog Polyaan is a Yellow Lab, and is a great support to her. One element that is so very important is trust. Holly talked about the trust the builds between the dog and his/her owner.

Our dog Toby was not a guide or service dog, but he was an animal assisted therapy dog and I can attest to the incredible trust that Holly talked about. The more Toby and I volunteered together, the more I trusted him, and he trusted me. As well, this trust rippled over to the patients.

These organizations are such an important part of our community, and make a big difference in the lives of others.

Listen to my interview with Holly McKnight at:

You can also access the archived radio show interviews with great guests such as Laura Marlowe, Susan Sutcliffe, Kerri Lake, Georgina Bradley, Craig Haverstick and more at:  Also, don't forget to press the "Follow" button right below Toby's smiling face, that way you will get alerted to upcoming shows. 

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