Guide Dogs in Training
Last fall, in celebration of their 105th anniversary, Eschenbach Optik of America, Inc
. announced a partnership
with the Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation
, a leading guide dog nonprofit. The partnership, called the Eschenbach Partner Project, includes Eschenbach’s financial commitment to the breeding, raising and training of one of Fidelco’s elite German Shepherd guide dogs. The partnership between Eschenbach and Fidelco hinges on their similar missions: to make life easier, safer and more productive for people with vision problems. While Eschenbach creates vision enhancing technologies, Fidelco trains and breeds exclusively German Shepherd guide dogs that help people with low to no vision live safer, easier lives.
Eschenbach’s commitment to a Fidelco guide dog is substantial. According to Eliot Russman, president and CEO of Fidelco, guide dogs require 15,000 hours of training, which costs $45,000. In fact, guide dogs rack up more training hours than American children spend in school from kindergarten through college.
Through the partnership with Fidelco, Eschenbach will sponsor the Fidelco German Shepherd guide dog over a two-year period for one of the Fidelco’s qualifying clients who will be given the guide dog free of charge. Those interested in following the progress of the guide dog benefitting from the Eschenbach Partner Project can watch as he goes through this extraordinary journey online at https://www.eschenbach.com/partner_project.asp
. The puppy, Magno, was born just before Vision Expo West 2018. Here’s an update from Eschenbach on his progress:
“Magno is now 5 months old and has accomplished so much, including earning his red jacket. Fidelco Guide Dog puppies undergo one of many tests on their road to becoming a working Guide Dog. To earn their red jacket, they must successfully complete an assessment walk to see if they have the temperament and skills necessary to begin training in public. This socialization is an important building block on their journey to becoming a Fidelco Guide Dog and Magno has passed with flying colors.”
For more on how guide dogs are trained, check out this article
from The New York Times about a guide dog school that turns to Manhattan as a final exam for its prospective canine graduates by using “the chaos of New York City as its ultimate test when matching young dogs with their blind masters.” The article follows several dogs from the Seeing Eye, a guide dog school in Morristown, N.J. as they maneuver the obstacles of Manhattan after several months of training.
And finally, here’s an update
on one of the world’s most famous service dogs, Sully, George H.W. Bush’s constant companion. The yellow lab, “captured the nation's attention ahead of Bush's funeral this past December, after Sully's official Instagram account put out an image of him in front of Bush's casket.” Currently, he’s getting ready to start his second act for his new job as a facility dog at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.