International Assistance Dog Week: August 4th – 10th

 In News & Events

Logo for International Assistance Dog WeekInternational Assistance Dog Week was created to recognize the devoted, hardworking service dogs that help individuals achieve their goals in life. Behind Guiding Eyes guide and service dogs are thousands of people who make our life-changing work possible.

“International Assistance Dog Week is a time to recognize the importance of service dogs and the freedom they provide,” said Sue Dishart, vice president of marketing and development at Guiding Eyes for the Blind. “It is also the perfect opportunity to celebrate the amazing achievements of our clients.”

Twelve years ago, a neurological condition robbed Randy Pierce of his vision and impaired the parts of his brain that facilitate balance. When he came to Guiding Eyes for the Blind in 2006, he had been out of a wheelchair for less than a year. He was using a hiking pole to support his walking, which was still uneasy and unbearably slow.

Despite the odds, last year 46 year-old Pierce became the first blind person ever to climb all 48 of the 4,000-foot peaks in New Hampshire’s White Mountains  — in a single winter – with Guiding Eyes Quinn by his side. “I’m not a blind hiker; I’m a hiker,” said Pierce. “I don’t put anything out of my reach. In less than five years, Quinn has helped me progress from being unable to walk to my mailbox to being able to climb the tallest mountain.”

Guiding Eyes grads Randy Pierce and Quinn climbing a snow covered mountain

Guiding Eyes for the Blind provides guide dogs, professional training, and follow-up support services to blind and visually impaired individuals around the world at no cost to them, depending solely on contributions to fulfill its mission. Additionally, Guiding Eyes’ Heeling Autism Program places specially trained service dogs with children on the autism spectrum.

“We are incredibly grateful to our generous donors and volunteers for helping us change lives for the better each day,” said Dishart. “There are many ways to get involved in our organization and really make a difference.”

Guiding Eyes’ vast network of volunteers span twelve states throughout the Northeast. Volunteers are key to raising, training, and socializing the non-profit’s future guide dogs as well as supporting its operations in Yorktown Heights and Patterson, NY. Puppy raisers welcome 8 week-old puppies into their homes with full support from Guiding Eyes, including training classes and free vet care, for a 14 to 16 month period before sending them off to their calling as a guide dog.

The organization also offers a number of unique donation opportunities, such as sponsoring a graduation ceremony or naming a future guide dog puppy. A new partnership with Donation Line allows Guiding Eyes’ to accept donated cars, trucks, motorcycles and vans. Supporters are also invited to honor the special people or pets in their life with a memorial or tribute gift or help further Guiding Eyes’ mission with their own in-kind gift of goods, services or expertise.

Guiding Eyes puppy Nash poses with a bottle of Empower perfumeGuiding Eyes was recently selected as one of three charity partners by Pour Le Monde, a new company specializing in 100% natural fragrances that raise funds and awareness for non-profit organizations. The Guiding Eyes scent, named Empower, is an all-natural fragrance with a crisp, sparkling blend of citrus top notes interspersed with an herbaceous mix of spearmint, lemongrass and basil. A dry down of subtle woods make Empower clean and contemporary.

“In these difficult economic times, Pour Le Monde’s generosity in donating a portion of each Empower fragrance sale to Guiding Eyes is an outstanding example of how a company can make a meaningful contribution to our clients throughout the world,” said William Badger, Guiding Eyes’ president and CEO.

The 1.7-oz. perfume spray retails for $95, with 10% of the net sale given back to Guiding Eyes. In honor of International Assistance Dog Week, Pour le Monde will provide free shipping of Empower from August 4th through August 10th with 15% of proceeds donated to Guiding Eyes.  To purchase, visit the company’s website,, and enter code EMPOWERAUG at checkout.

Visit International Assistance Dog Week’s website to learn more.