One of the most important qualities for an American citizen is freedom. The whole basis of our country is based on the idea of freedom for all, in order to give an equal opportunity for everyone to become who they want to be and be as involved in the community and politics as they want to be. However many blind Americans have lost their ability to move around without restrictions. This is why many Americans decide to volunteer their time to raise a dog to remove some of the restrictions on the blind. Through the puppy raisers’ community service and hard work they are able to give freedom and hope to the blind.
Deciding to raise a dog for the Seeing Eye, an organization that trains dogs to lead a blind person through the streets, is a huge commitment. The members need to train, encourage, and love a dog for over a year, before they give the dog away. That year consists of hard work, as members train the dogs to sit, lay down, rest, come, house manners, walking on a leash, and much more. The members are dedicated to their job to ensure that the dog is properly prepared to assist a blind person. All of the hard work is done as volunteer work, with the only main benefit being the knowledge that the dog is going to change a blind person’s life. Once the dog goes back to the Seeing Eye, some members will never see the dog again once they give the dog back to the Seeing Eye. Sometimes, members will see the dog once and from a distance and will not be allowed to go up and greet it. Once the dog is done with training, the dog is matched with a blind person. Although it can be hard for the blind person to trust the dog’s choices, the blind person eventually understands the freedoms that will become open to them. Sandra Shelby, who is blind, exclaimed upon receiving her guide dog, “The moment I stepped up on the curb on other side [of the road], tears came to my eyes and at that moment I knew I could trust him.” Through the guide dog, Shelby is able to live her life without the restrictions, and with a new companion.
Puppy raisers for the Seeing Eye are changing the lives of multiple blind people through giving them more freedoms so that they can have close to the same opportunities to become who they want to be. Winston Churchill once said, “All the great things are simple and can often be described in one word: freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, and hope.” Through the Seeing Eye, volunteers are giving up a majority of their time and effort to give those simple great things to blind people in the United States. Without the puppy raisers commitment to create a country that provides equal freedoms to those less fortunate, many of the blind would be restricted from doing the activities that give them joy.