International Guide Dog Day
The last Wednesday of April is observed as International Guide Dog Day. This is a day dedicated to the amazing animals that allow legally blind adults to have more independence out in the world. These dogs help the blind navigate urban terrain, which allows them to remain connected with society.
Although most people think that guide dogs have only been used in modern times, the fact is that these animals have been used for hundreds of years. And in all that time, no one has taken the time to show appreciation to them. That is, until now.
The History of International Guide Dog Day
This holiday was created in 1989 by the International Guide Dog Federation (IGDF). The purpose of this holiday aligns very much with the purpose of this organization in general. The purpose of the IGDF is to support the efforts of its members.
One of the main purposes of its members is to advance the notion that guide dogs are the best way for partially sighted or blind individuals to obtain mobility and independence.
Important Facts About Guide Dogs
How much do you really know about guide dogs? If you’re like we were before we researched this holiday article, then you probably don’t know much about them. That’s okay because we’re going to change that right now.
We did a ton of research on this subject and have come up with some facts that should vastly improve everyone’s knowledge of guide dogs and what it takes to train them. With that said, let’s check out the following list, shall we?
- Guide dogs, and other service animals, have been used since the mid-16th century.
- It takes about 18 months to train a guide dog from birth.
- A guide dog starts with a verified household where it learns house training and obedience for about a year.
- After the initial year, the guide dog is then formally trained by a professional guide dog trainer for about 6 months.
- At 18 months, the guide dog is then paired with their partner, and they train together for a few weeks to become long-term companions.
- It takes a lot of work to match a visually impaired or blind person with the right dog.
Observing International Guide Dog Day
This holiday can be observed by learning more about guide dogs, adopting a former guide dog, or making a donation to a guide dog organization. People can also spread the news about this holiday using the hashtag #InternationalGuideDogDay on social media.
Let’s all raise awareness about the importance of guide dogs and celebrate them for all that they do for visually impaired and blind individuals.