The Star-News


Gift of sight has four legs

Sat, Apr 30 2011 12:00 PM Posted By: Nohely Mendoza

Patricia Bogard, 70, decided to get a dog; but it was no ordinary canine because it was specifically trained to be a guide dog.

"Sometimes I would think that if I had to go out, I wanted someone to accompany me," Bogard said. "Cane traveling doesn't really work at night, and I knew that getting a guide dog would help."

The Chula Vista resident is not completely blind and can see objects at a far distance.

Bogard found out about Guide Dogs for the Blind and decided to go through with the process.

"I heard this program was top notch and the oldest. I'm really pleased I went there," Bogard said.

After completing a home interview Bogard and her new 2-year-old yellow Labrador retriever guide dog Rosetta completed a three-week training program in San Rafael.

"At the home interview they have a general idea about your health, pace of walking and what size dog you need," said Bogard. "They try and match personalities with the dog and the person."

Rosetta is an intelligent dog and she is trained take Bogard on different routes without any instruction. She stops from corner to corner and either goes straight or turns and knows how to intelligently disobey. In one instance, Bogard and Rosetta were walking through the neighborhood, Rosetta suddenly stopped and disobeyed Bogard's orders, after asking a man nearby if there was something in the street she found out they were headed straight into a chainsaw.

"She stopped me from stepping into danger," added Bogard.

Bogard takes Rosetta with her everywhere she goes and encourages others to take advantage of this free of charge guide dog program.

"Most people think you need to be totally blind to get a guide dog, this is not the case. I encourage people who are legally blind to apply for a dog," said Bogard. "They improve our lifetime and give us so much more freedom."


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