Editorial: Guiding Eyes

The mutually beneficial relationship between a guide dog and a blind human is an inspirational everyday wonder.

It’s a wonder that results from work by dedicated people, often volunteers.

Guiding Eyes for the Blind offers many ways people can support its mission of providing guide dogs for people. Volunteer opportunities at the organization’s two nearby campuses in Yorktown Heights and Patterson, N.Y., range from maintenance to driving and videography.

People can also help from their homes — doing home litter care, home socialization and puppy-raising.

A story this week describes the work one Ridgefielder, Lorraine Trapani, does raising puppies to become service dogs — she’s raising her fifth and sixth future guide dogs.

Puppy-raisers like Ms. Trapani “provide hours of patient teaching and numerous socialization journeys over a 12-to-16-month period, before they return a well-socialized young adult dog to Guiding Eyes training staff,” the organization says.

Guiding Eyes has puppy-raising classes Thursdays evenings in the Westport/Wilton area, organized by regional coordinator Cora Martin (203-834-0069, email corapm@msn.com).

“All of the raiser’s hard work culminates,” the organization says, “when a visually impaired person receives his or her priceless gift — a guide dog providing independence, companionship, and mobility.”