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Yellow lab gets hugged by two small childrenMost Guide Dogs work until they are 8-10 years old. But every career must one day come to an end. When the time comes to hang up the harness, the reality of ending this incredible working relationship is often very emotional. Guide Dogs field staff can help ease the transition and our professional counselors (who are themselves Guide Dogs Alumni), provide comfort and support.

Retiring guides may live in the homes of their blind partners as pets. Some are placed with family or friends. Others return to the homes of their puppy raisers, and some are placed in loving adoptive homes by Guide Dogs dog placement staff. Every effort is made to find the best homes for these wonderful dogs that have provided years of faithful service to their partners.

This support and guidance paves the way for our alumni to re-apply for a successor dog. No dog can be replaced, but our alumni are often amazed to find themselves on a new journey with a new partner in whom they can put their trust. And the cycle begins anew.