Chris and Judy Jones of Tacoma graduated recently with new guide dogs. Chris received his sixth guide dog, a mostly-white labrador retriever named Yosemite, and Judy received her fourth guide dog, a yellow labrador retrieve named Gabrielle.
The dogs completed three weeks of intensive training at Guide Dogs for the Blind, Inc., in San Rafael, Calif. Graduation took place on May 15, at the 11-acre campus located 20 miles north of San Francisco.
Chris and Judy, who have been married for 24 years, have two teenage daughters. Chris is a student disability counselor at Clover Park Technical College. Judy is a self-employed transcriber.
Both are members of the National Federation for the Blind and are active in their church.
The two new guide dogs will be joining two pet dogs in the Jones household, a poodle named Angel and a llasa opso named Benji.
During the course of training, guide dogs and their new partners learn to to work as teams. They practice safe travel techniques on stairways and elevators, on crowded sidewalks and across buy streets.
Guide dogs learn to stop at all curbs and wait until their partners command them to go forward or turn. They will disobey a command to cross a street if traffic is approaching. They guide people safely around pedestrians and obstacles, including overhead obstacles and avoid distractions.
Guide Dogs for the Blind, Inc., has produced more than 10,000 trained guides for graduates across the United States and Canada since 1942. These services are provided free of charge. The organization is supported entirely by private donations.
Guide Dogs for the Blind also has a second campus located in Boring, Ore. The 27-acre facility is located 25 miles east of Portland.
For more information, please visit the organizations Website at: www.guidedogs.com.
To read a past story about Guide Dogs for the Blind puppies arriving in Tacoma, visit www.tacomadailyindex.com, go to Story Archives and type guide dogs.