Leading the Way: A Look at the History of The Seeing Eye Guide Dog School

The Seeing Eye, Inc. is a non-profit organization that was founded on January 29, 1929 in Nashville, Tennessee. The organization's mission is to enhance the independence, dignity, and self-confidence of people who are blind, through the use of specially trained Seeing Eye dogs.

The school's origins can be traced back to Morris Frank, a young man from Nashville who lost his sight at the age of 16. In 1927, Frank traveled to Switzerland to learn about the use of guide dogs for the blind. He was trained with a German Shepherd named Buddy, and upon his return to the United States, Frank and Buddy demonstrated the effectiveness of the guide dog concept to the American public.

With the help of Dorothy Harrison Eustis, a wealthy dog breeder and trainer, Frank established The Seeing Eye in Nashville. The school was the first of its kind in the United States and quickly gained national recognition. Today, The Seeing Eye continues to train and provide guide dogs to individuals who are blind or visually impaired, helping them to lead more independent and fulfilling lives.

"In February, 1929, the first class graduated from The Seeing Eye. Shown left to right are chief instructor Jack Humphrey; graduate Dr. Raymond Harris with Tartar; instructor Adelaide Clifford;
graduate Dr. Howard Buchanan with Gala; and instructor Will Ebeling."

The Seeing Eye's training program is rigorous and includes both physical and psychological evaluations for both the dog and the human partner. The program also includes a team of professional trainers, veterinarians, and behaviorists to ensure that each dog is well-suited for the role of a guide dog and that each human-dog team receives the support they need to succeed. 

Throughout its history, The Seeing Eye has trained and placed thousands of guide dogs with individuals who are blind or visually impaired. The organization continues to be a leader in the field of guide dog training and has inspired the creation of similar programs around the world.

Image credit and Source: https://www.seeingeye.org/about-us/history.html

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