Meet Frank and guide dog Ruby
Despite years of deteriorating eyesight due to macular degeneration, Frank says he was adept at “passing” for a sighted person and didn’t feel “blind enough” for a guide. “I don’t need a dog; I can do this on my own,” was the financial analyst’s attitude, until he had no central vision at all and relied on his wife, Pam, for driving and getting around. After she encouraged him to apply to Southeastern Guide Dogs, all his ideas changed.
Frank has met a spirited, intelligent, fast moving golden retriever named Ruby. “I thought wow, she’s really beautiful. She is absolutely perfect,” Frank says. “I wanted a personality that really liked me. Ruby stopped looking at her trainer, leaned up against me and all of a sudden, I knew.” Once home, Frank can continue to be “very independent”—but also safe and no longer risks getting hit by cars. “I’m a perfectionist and Ruby has a lot of patience with me,” he notes. “I walk five or six miles a day and I want to work. My disability is ending and I want to get a job. I want to work with people and try to help some of the blind people I know. I won’t let this stop me. I don’t give up.”