There is a constant need for guide dogs as well as therapy dogs of one type or another. There is also an overwhelming amount of unclaimed dogs that could potentially serve this purpose if only there were more individuals willing to take the time out of their schedules to train them.
In today’s DuPage County Daily Herald, the front page held an absolutely unique store about a five-month old puppy training to be a guide dog and the trainer is a junior in high school! The dog, Bailey, is being trained at Grayslake Central High School which is very atypical of most guide dog scenarios, but is truly helpful in the fact that if a child required a guide dog for the blind, Bailey would be able to foot the bill.
What gets a young woman like Abby Perkowitz into dedicating precious high school time to training a dog? Well, as many future leaders reveal, it is the parents that introduce this type of selfless giving that is required in order to have the end result be a success. Abby’s family has always fostered pets from a local facility. They taught her how to volunteer at the shelter, so she is well aware of how a pet can influence the life of an individual.
But, Bailey is different. She will not be a typical pet, but a helper animal. She will not be one to get down and dirty and play tug with a toy, but to have the responsibility to help a person that cannot see. Her job will be very important.
Perkowitz was introduced to the Leader Dogs for the Blind when she and her family attended the Indiana State Fair last year. She was so enamored of the work that they do that she immediately completed an application and eventually gained approval to be a puppy trainer.
Abby Perkowitz is one of only 400 puppy trainers for the Leader Dogs for the Blind that operates in 22 states and in Canada. Considering is takes a year or more to complete the training for the dogs, you can see how potentially in demand trainers like Abby truly are!
Once Bailey finishes training with her young trainer, she will be transferred back to the Michigan headquarters where a lucky recipient will finally have a guide dog to lead them safely through life. The dogs are not only unique in the service that they provide, but in the fact that the organization provides them to the recipient free of charge.
The work that Abby Perkowitz has taken on with Bailey will truly help fellow human being. It is just fortunate that Abby has something truly unique to offer the dog – high school training. It will make Bailey even higher in demand.