History of Guide Dogs
After WWI, Germans trained dogs to help blind veterans. Dorothy Harrison was a wealthy American breeding German Shepherds. She visited the dog school and was impressed by their work. Later, she was to write an article about her dogs, but the worry of publicity forced her to write about the German guide dogs instead. A blind man living in Tennessee was determined to have and train one of these dogs so he could travel. Dorothy refused at the first request but later on agreed to take him to Switzerland to train the dog. When he returned to the U.S., Dorothy requested that he create his own school. Morris Frank was the founder of the Seeing Eye in 1929. At the same time as this foundation grew, another guide dog foundation was being built in England.
The Guide Dog Foundation for the blind was founded in 1946 in Forest Hills, NY. Now it is located in Smithtown, NY. Before the name Guide Dog Foundation came about, it was named Guiding Eyes Inc. The students for this program had rooming houses in the area. The new owner, Mr. Holzmann trained the dogs in groups of 6 to 8 which cost $3,000 to $4,000. The dogs are specific breeds of German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, and Labrador Retrievers. The cost for the blind people who are interested in a companion is free of charge. Guide Dogs have gone a long way from those German Shepherds in Germany. Who knows, maybe in the future, there will be guide horses!
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