Happy International Guide Dog Day!
The last Wednesday in April is designated International Guide Dog Day to celebrate the dogs that are specially trained to help the blind or visually impaired, as well as the trainers who work hard to help Guide Dogs succeed.
Trivia from World’s Special Days:
- Guide dogs, also referred to as seeing-eye dogs, have their modern beginnings during the late 1700’s and early 1800’s in Europe. Vienna’s Institute for the Education of the Blind started the concept of systematic guide dog training, but it wasn’t well after World War I that widespread usage of guide dogs was started by German doctor Gerhard Stalling to help blinded war veterans.
- The presence and popularity of guide dogs in the US were possible through the efforts of Dorothy Eustis and Morris Frank, the founders of the first guide-dog school in America, The Seeing Eye.
- The first guide dogs in the US and UK were of the German Shepherd variety. Four German Shepherds were the pioneers of the first guide dog organization in Britain: The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association.
- Although the first trendsetters of guide dogs were German Shepherds, the most popular variety today is the Labrador Retriever. it has the healthy balances of temperament, size and hygienic qualities suitable for a first-rate guide dog.