by Guiding Eyes president and CEO Tom Panek
You may have heard that in 2015, David Letterman will retire from his long-running gig of hosting the Late Show. As the show featured many “not so smart” pet tricks, Guiding Eyes dog Gus and I needed to weigh in on the ability of dogs to be very smart… and offer our wisdom in the “who will replace Dave” debates.
Gus and I started our search for the Late Night Show at 88th and Broadway. Of course – Gus had his tricks ready to go. Chris and Cindy Tait, his raisers, have shared that Gus can wiggle until you can’t help but laugh.
However, the real test of a Guiding Eyes dog is his or her ability to navigate the busy streets of New York City for an individual who can’t see. Close your eyes and ask if you could get from 88th Street to 42nd Street – blind.
Well, to that end, let me introduce Graham Buck, who helps to direct the training program for our very capable dogs.
His Yoda-like ability to read dogs may be imparted from his dad, who brought dogs to the Late Show set over three decades ago. Legend has it Jim Buck’s dogs were so well-trained that they led Lettermen right out of the studio during a filming. View Jim Buck on Letterman here.
Gus navigated 40 blocks of obstacles without a hitch. He stopped at every street to let me assess traffic flow, and he zigzagged at nearly five miles per hour around scaffolding, buildings, pedestrians, hand-carts, awnings, stairs and yes – pretzel stands.
And… we arrived at the Late Show canopy to state our case. Like our photo on Facebook if you think Gus and I should ask Letterman to give us an audition!
Only 11 days left until Gus and I head to Boston for the marathon.
4/10/14 – 12:30pm: We just learned that Stephen Colbert will succeed Letterman as host of The Late Show. As Colbert is known for his ability to try a multitude of new things, perhaps we’ll convince him to one day try a walk with an extraordinary Guiding Eyes dog. 🙂