Selling Brownies for Guide Dogs - March 2010
Guide dog gives Redlands woman new "independence" - March 2010
Guide dog brightens life for man with tunnel vision - March 2010
Blind Artist Showcase - Guide Dog Depot to feature coffee by The Unseen Bean
Blind Artist Showcase - Guide Dog Depot to feature art work by Lena Contreras
Class Outing - Old Town Temecula - March 2010
Article: Safford Lions Club meet Guide Dogs of the Desert - February 2010
Barry Manilow: Bringing hope and love to the holidays - December 2009
American Idol’s Paula Abdul hosts our All Veterans, April Graduation Ceremony! Seven Veterans received guide dogs at the ceremony, which leads into National Guide Dog Month in May. http://www.gddca.org/gallery.html
Guide Dogs of the Desert (GDD) was founded in 1972. Our mission is to improve the lives of the blind by creating opportunities for life-changing independence, and by conducting community outreach and education programs. We pride ourselves in the fact that we are a very small school where family environment, small class size and individualized attention is a priority.
Since our inception, we have graduated more than 1,075 student/dog teams. We offer safe mobility, loving companionship and the “miracle of independence” through the use of a guide dog.
Guide Dogs of the Desert is a member of the International Guide Dog Federation—An overseeing organization that reviews best practices and ensures that high operational standards are maintained.
There are five facets to the guide dog program: breeding, puppy raising, formal training, on-campus training and post graduate support.
Breeding - We breed our own dogs specifically to become guide dogs and heroes able to save lives. During the whelping process, trained staff monitor both the health and welfare of the mother dog and her babies. We breed Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, Poodles, and mixes of the above.
Puppy raising - At approximately eight weeks of age, puppies are placed in volunteer homes until they are about 18 months. Under the direction of our expert canine development staff, puppy raisers are taught the skills needed to train their dogs, and to expose their dogs to the many situations that a blind person will encounter during their life. Our puppies wear a blue jacket with our logo that identifies them as a puppy in training.
Formal training - After the puppies pass a thorough medical evaluation they then begin their formal training with our licensed instructors. Meanwhile, prospective clients undergo an interview process to determine their exact needs and the demands that will be placed on the guide dog. Each dog is custom-trained for the specific client with whom it will be teamed.
On-campus training - The training involves an intensive 28-day program where every blind student lives and works together with their new dog partner at our campus. They are taught to work safely through a series of structured activities including street crossings, railway platforms, stairs and escalators. The program’s objective is to expose the teams to every possible situation that they might encounter once they return to their home environment.
In addition, for some of our retrain students we offer in-home training that could be anywhere throughout the United States and Canada.
Post graduate support - Our licensed instructors provide follow-up assistance throughout the many years that the blind person and their guide dog are together.
All of our services are provided free of charge to our blind clients. We would not be able to continue providing safe mobility, loving companionship and the miracle of independence to the blind were it not for the generosity of those in the private sector.
Orientation and Mobility Training
As a precursor to getting a guide dog, we now offer Orientation and Mobility training by a trained specialist to help our clients achieve independent travel in a safe, efficient, and confident manner. This training teaches the blind individual to depend on the use of other sensory skills, protective techniques, and assistive devices such as the long cane.
Life Skills Training
We also offer life skills training which allow the individual to adapt and perform tasks necessary for daily living such as shopping, cooking, Braille, and the use of talking computers.
Guide Dogs of the Desert is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation - Federal Tax ID # 23-7296531. To learn more about how you can apply for a dog, make a donation, become a puppy raiser, or volunteer your time, please call 88-883-0022 or visit us at www.gddca.org