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Forever changed

Posted September 18th, 2014

Donna Elliott works a training route with Guiding Eyes dog Amosby graduate Donna Elliott

When I first came to Guiding Eyes,  I was a small town, middle-aged wife, mother and grandmother, who had never been away from home before.  I worked from home and went few places alone unless I was walking in my neighborhood.  Anywhere else, I was accompanied by my husband or a good friend.  I was shy, scared, nervous and not really sure I would be able to travel independently with a guide dog.

Four months after returning home with Guiding Eyes Dixon, my husband had very serious medical issues and was put on a cardiac transplant waiting list.  Finally, he had to stay hospitalized in Boston.  I lived alone in Boston with my guide dog for four months.  Together we learned a new city, making our way to and from the hospital each day and around town as needed.  Joe received his new heart and we went back home, but I was forever changed.

Thanks to Dixon, I was now a strong, confident woman.  With my first two guide dogs, I attended college and earned my social work degrees.  I became a social worker in long term care.  My third guide took me through moving, accepting retirement and becoming a first time great-grandmother.

Now Amos will guide me to all our family get-togethers and to my myriad of volunteer commitments.  Meanwhile, he’ll be the loving companion who lays on my feet and wraps his front leg around my leg!

To everyone who supports Guiding Eyes, you have given me more than you’ll ever know.  Thank you.