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From the breeding program, through puppy raising, training, and matching dogs with blind people, Guide Dogs for the Blind in San Rafael, California and Boring, Oregon provides an exceptional service. Dedicated to fostering lifelong partnerships between trained mobility dogs and blind or visually impaired individuals, Guide Dogs sets a standard for what can be accomplished when teamwork is the goal. In these entertaining and informative 15-20 minute interviews, you'll learn what it takes to create and nurture a guide dog.

Bea HawkinsEpisode 33: Bea Hawkins
This year, Guide Dogs for the Blind celebrates our 70th anniversary. We had a chance to talk with someone who’s been with us for 60 of those years. Bea Hawkins, 93, is on her eighth Guide Dog. She is the perfect example of what we mean when we say GDB makes a lifelong commitment to its graduates. Listen in to this delightful conversation with a truly charming lady who is thoroughly in love with her Guide Dog. (12 minutes.)

Zach and NaturaEpisode 32: K9 Puppy Train
Young Zach Thibodeaux’s eyesight is deteriorating rapidly due to a condition called cone-rod dystrophy. The smart 9-year-old from Lewisville, Texas, began preparing for a future without vision by, among other things, learning to use a white cane and getting connected with GDB’s Lone Star Puppy Raisers. (31 minutes.)

Megan hugging a yellow Lab and a black LabEpisode 32: For the Love of Noah Part 1 Part 2
Once upon a time, there was a big yellow Labrador named Noah. Although Noah would not become a Guide Dog, he won the heart of Megan Minkiewicz and started her down a path of raising GDB puppies. In the process, she's won a whole new world of friends and created a supportive community network. She speaks from the heart about the impact of her puppies on her and on the lucky people who receive our dogs. (22 minutes.)

Waiter pouring wineEpisode 31: Vickie Kennedy Gives Serving Pointers
It’s the holiday season, the time for entertaining with family and friends. In this month’s podcast, GDB Alumna and former Board Member Vickie Kennedy offers some pertinent pointers to waite staff on how to provide good customer service to guests who are blind or visually impaired. Listen to The Guide Dog Podcast on our website or via iTunes! (7:34 minutes.)

Gail, wearing sunhat, hugs her yellow Lab Guide Dog FirestoneEpisode 30: Gail Paulson with Firestone
She was a young mother with a brand new baby and two small children when she first learned she'd eventually lose her sight due to retinitis pigmentosa. Gail Paulson tells how she found the resources she needed to regain her independence, and the joy she has experienced in having a Guide Dog. (16 min.)

Danelle, Rob and black Lab on ski slopesEpisode 29: Danelle Umstead with Bettylynn
Whether it’s racing down Paralympic ski slopes guided by her husband, Rob, or traveling through crowded international airports with her Guide Dog Bettylynn, Danelle Umstead is a champion in the art and joys of teamwork. (13 min.)

Group of young students with their Guide Dogs in libraryEpisode 28: Young Voices from Class 725
This group of young people just received their new Guide Dogs and are on their way to something big: Cody with yellow Lab Champagne, Sirena with black Lab Tony, Janna with yellow Lab Susie, Heidi with black Lab Nile and John with yellow Lab Marcella. (21 minutes)

Becky and Lab Golden CrossEpisode 27: Becky Andrews
Fifteen years ago, after losing her sight to retinitis pigmentosa, Becky Andrews was wondering if she could ever lead an active life again. After getting hit by a car, she realized it was past time to do something about it. Now she enjoys the gift of freedom, joy and independence of traveling with a Guide Dog. Her dog has saved her life. (6 minutes)

Lucy Greco with yellow Lab PecanEpisode 26: Lucy Greco
GDB Alumna Lucy Greco has many ties to Guide Dogs for the Blind. In addition to giving presentations about GDB with her Guide Dog Pecan, she and her husband foster Guide Dog puppies and dogs in need of extra-special love and attention. She said, "Being a Foster Care provider is the most rewarding volunteer job we’ve ever had!" (6 minutes)

Divina Fontanilla and yellow Lab SyracuseEpisode 25: Divina Fontanilla
Although she has some sight, traveling on the streets of San Francisco wasn’t always pretty for Divina Fontanilla. Then she took a fall from a height of six feet. "You’d think I’d learn my lesson, but as stubborn as I am, it took me awhile to make the decision to get a Guide Dog. Now, I believe it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made!" (6 minutes)

GDB volunteer Don Madronich pictured with yellow Lab pup 'Don'Episode 24: GDB Volunteer Don Madronich
Volunteer and photographer Don Madronich talks about adorable puppy photos from the GDB whelping kennel that are featured monthly in Breeder's Digest on the GDB blog "No Bones About It!" Don tells us how he started volunteering at GDB, some of his greatest memories and, of course, what it's like to have such cute photo subjects. (15 min.)

GDB puppy raisers Kelly Lauber and Jack Lyon with Guide Dog NoellaEpisode 23: Puppy Raising is About Family
Dedicated puppy raisers Kelly Lauber and Jack Lyon will explain how they got involved with GDB, how raising Noella has become a family affair and what's most rewarding about raising a future Guide Dog. They will also answer the age-old question -- how they are able to give their puppy up? (11 min.)

GDB graduate Holly McKnight with yellow Lab Guide Dog PollyannEpisode 22: Holly McKnight
She affectionately refers to her petite yellow Lab as her "pocket pup," but for Holly McKnight, Pollyann is the perfect partner with a pace that really packs a punch. (21 min.)

GDB graduate Terry Blosser with Guide Dog BrysonEpisode 21: Terry Blosser
Terry Blosser and Guide Dog Bryson were selected to ride on the Natural Balance Pet Food float in the Tournament of the Roses Parade on New Year's Day. In addition to participating in one of America's most famous parades, Terry has courageously faced adversity several times as a child and adult. (17 min.)

GDB graduate Carol Leamy with yellow Lab Guide Dog VolleyEpisode 20: Carol Leamy
Losing your sight in later years can prove challenging. In this podcast, GDB Alumna Carol Leamy has four tips for smoothing the journey. (8 min.)

GDB graduate Don White with Guide Dog TornadoEpisode 19: Don White
Looking for a new recipe this Thanksgiving? GDB Alumni Don White is an International Master Chef. He'll share a special holiday recipe along with tales of his wonder dog Tornado. (12 min.)

GDB graduate David Cooper with his Guide DogEpisode 18: David Cooper
New York graduate David Cooper speaks about training with his third Guide Dog, Parnelli, on the streets of Manhattan and traveling more than 14,000 miles together in the past two months. (8 min.)

GDB puppy raiser Beth Adams with a Golden Retriever puppyEpisode 17: Lone Star Puppy Raising
Puppy Club Leader Beth Adams speaks about the newest addition to the GDB puppy raising program -- The Lone Star Puppy Club. The club is comprised of a group of dedicated volunteers throughout North Texas who help raise good canine citizens and prepare them for their formal guidework training. (4 min.)

GDB grad and Alumni Association Board President Paul WalkerEpisode 16: GDB Alumni Association Board Chair
Paul Walker speaks about the purpose of the GDB Alumni Association, his experience and observations with the new two- and three-week training classes and welcoming his second Guide Dog Avanti into his life. (17 min.)

Seth Webster sitting with Guide Dog BambooEpisode 15: Seth Webster Regains His Courage
The idea of getting a Guide Dog started Seth Webster on a journey to reclaim his life and active lifestyle after he lost his vision. Today, Seth credits his beautiful black Lab Bamboo as instrumental in helping him regain his independence and courage. (6 min.)

Dan McKay with Guide Dog AveryEpisode 14: Dan McKay - Proving His Independence
Dan McKay of South Porcupine, Ontario, Canada recently won an award for his advocacy work for people who are blind or disabled. He is a true believer in interdependence and proves it everyday with his Guide Dog Avery. (27 min.)

Debbie CombsEpisode 13: Debbie Combs: Expanding the Dream
Although Debbie's dream of a career as a guide dog instructor was never fully realized, she and her family have been raising Guide Dog puppies since 1992 and her daughter is an instructor for GDB. Debbie co-leads a puppy raising club and works for the Washington State School for the Blind in Vancouver, Washington. One woman's dream has changed so many people's lives. (18 min.)

Erin RumerEpisode 12: She's Only Blind
Erin Rumer was the featured speaker at Guide Dogs' Oregon Fall Luncheon in November 2009. She tells the story of her parents' response to having a child with vision loss and how her Guide Dogs, including her current guide, Provo, have helped her discover the joy of moving through life at a natural pace. (13 min.)

GDB Alumna Margo RobertsEpisode 11: Margo Roberts
Margo Roberts shares tales of her life with Fergie, her standard poodle Guide Dog. (11 min.)

GDB Alumna Patricia PaceEpisode 10: The View From Here
In this recording from our 1997 archives, Patricia Pace talks about what a Guide Dog looks like from her end of the harness. (6 min.)

Morgan Watkins hugs his Guide Dog WillEpisode 9: Travels with Will and Fantom
Morgan Watkins shares a moving and humorous story of his life and his Guide Dogs Will and Fantom. (15 min.)

Golden Retriever Guide Dog in harnessEpisode 8: Life with a Guide Dog
Maile George shares how her Guide Dog has enhanced her life. Her father, Fred George, a volunteer docent, says that without a Guide Dog, he's not sure Maile would have survived. (15 min.)

Black Labrador Retriever Guide Dog working in his harnessEpisode 7: Training a Blind Person and His Guide Dog
Meeting and learning to work with one's new guide dog is an exciting time. Richard Faubion shares his enthusiasm and is joined by his instructor, Jessica Drew. (15 min.)

Guide Dog Instructor Adam Waskow works with a guide dog in trainEpisode 6: Turning Puppies into Guide Dogs
Long before a guide dog meets his human partner, he's been thoroughly trained by a team of experts. Instructor Adam Waskow explains what's involved. (19 min.)

GDB Medical Director Dr. Jeff Williams, DVMEpisode 5: Veterinary Care for Guide Dogs
Ensuring the health of Guide Dogs and Guide Dog puppies is the work of a very special team of veterinarians. Learn about this exciting work in an interview with Medical Director Dr. Jeff Williams. (20 min.)

A yellow Labrador Retriever wears her green puppy coatEpisode 4: Raising Puppies
From 8 weeks to about 18 months, Guide Dog puppies are lovingly raised by volunteers in their homes. Enjoy an interview with puppy raiser and leader Kay Blachley as she explains what's involved in the commitment. (14 min.)

Guide Dogs' Puppy Stork, Mick Aguilera, holds a Golden Retriever pupEpisode 3: The Puppy Stork
Can you think of a more fulfilling job than traveling throughout the West making home deliveries to puppy raisers for Guide Dogs for the Blind? Meet Mick Aguilera, affectionately called "The Puppy Stork." (15 min.)

A very young puppy is given his meal from a bottleEpisode 2: Newborn Puppies
Countless hours of hard work and care go into nurturing our precious puppies during their first 8 weeks of life. Turn on your speakers and listen in as we take you behind-the-scenes in an interview with Mark Bollinger, Assistant Manager of our kennels. Mark will take you on a journey into the secret life of a Guide Dog puppy in those amazing first days of life. (23 min.)

A very young yellow Labrador Retriever puppyEpisode 1: Breeding the Best Guide Dogs
We begin our exciting series of audio interviews at the beginning, of course — with an in-depth interview with our resident breeding expert, Director Marina Hall. Turn on your speakers or plug in those ear buds and tune in to hear what goes into the process of producing some of the very best dogs in the world — the beautiful babies that grow up to become working Guide Dogs. (18 min.)

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