Tag: Guide dogs

Dogs also provide the eyes to those that need them.

A recent inspiring item from the BBC.

This news item was featured on the BBC the other day and I made a note to share it with you.

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Blind man runs New York half marathon with three guide dogs

18th March, 2019

Thomas Panek and his guide dog Gus running the New York City Half Marathon

Thomas Panek has completed 20 marathons, however, he made history on Sunday at the New York City Half Marathon.

While visually impaired runners usually use human guides, Mr Panek became the first person to complete the race supported by guide dogs.

A trio of Labradors – Westley, Waffle and Gus – each accompanied him for a third of the race.

The team finished in two hours and 21 minutes.

Mr Panek, who lost his sight in his early 20s, told CNN that while he appreciated the support of human volunteers, he missed the feeling of independence.

“It never made sense to me to walk out the door and leave my guide dog behind when I love to run and they love to run,” he said. “It was just a matter of bucking conventional wisdom and saying why not.

In 2015, Mr Panek established the Running Guides programme which trains dogs to support runners.

When selecting his canine companions for the New York race, Mr Panek chose siblings Waffle and Westley to join Gus, who is his full-time guide dog.

(L-R) Thomas Panek, Waffle, Westley and Gus show off their medals after the race

“The bond is really important. You can’t just pick up the harness and go for a run with these dogs,” Mr Panek told CNN. “You’re training with a team no matter what kind of athlete you are, and you want to spend time together in that training camp.”

Each dogs sets its own pace – Westley runs an eight minute mile, while his sister Waffle can cover the same distance in six minutes – and helps Mr Panek avoid obstacles such as kerbs and cones.

Each dog wears a special harness and set of running boots, to protect their paws.

Gus was chosen to run the final leg of the race and cross the finish line with Mr Panek. He retired from his duties as a guide dog at the end of the race.

“It’s a little emotional for me because he’s been there with me the whole time,” Mr Panek said.

Gus, Mr Panek’s personal guide dog, entered retirement after the race

Before the race, Mr Panek told Time magazine that guide dogs give visually impaired people the freedom to “do whatever it is a sighted person does, and sometimes, even run a little faster than them”.

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“It’s a little emotional for me because he’s been there with me the whole time,”

It’s not just Mr. Panek who finds the report a little emotional!

As I have said many times before and undoubtedly will continue to say: Dogs are truly amazing animals.

Yet another Saturday Smile

Sent to me by dear friend Bob Derham.

(Apologies if some of you have seen this before!)

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WALKING THE DOG

A WOMAN was flying from Melbourne to Brisbane.

Unexpectedly, the plane was diverted to Sydney along the way. The flight attendant explained that there would be a delay, and if the passengers wanted to get off the aircraft the plane would re-board in 50 minutes.

Everybody got off the plane except one lady who was blind.

A man had noticed her as he walked by and could tell the lady was blind because her Guide Dog lay quietly underneath the seats in front of her throughout the entire flight.

He could also tell she had flown this very flight before because the pilot approached her, and calling her by name, said, “Kathy, we are in Sydney for almost an hour. Would you like to get off and stretch your legs?”

The blind lady replied, “No thanks, but maybe Buddy would like to stretch his legs.”

The pilot duly obliged Kathy.

………..

All the people in the gate area came to a complete standstill when they looked up and saw the pilot walk off the plane with a Guide dog!
The pilot was even wearing sunglasses.

People scattered …
They not only tried to change planes, but they were trying to change airlines!

 

It is a true story!

Have a great day and remember … THINGS AREN’T ALWAYS AS THEY APPEAR.

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