Meet Stanley and Café
Stanley Friedlander’s wife of 46 years knows him best, and he agrees when she says that he’s “fiercely independent and stubborn.” She was the one who “got after me for about two years” to get a guide dog, but Stanley was anxious to trust his independence to a dog. As he lost more and more independence from 42 years of progressive vision loss from retinitis pigmentosa, he finally decided it was time.
It took a sweet and quiet black Labrador named Café to help him trust something besides himself, and Stanley now looks forward to being able to walk alone at night and feel comfortable taking public transportation on his own. Trusting his new dog was “one of the hardest things I’ve ever done,” which speaks more to Stanley’s strong backbone than to Café’s willingness to please. An avid investor and an Army veteran, he’s spent a lifetime building businesses, owning and running manufacturing corporations, and making tough decisions, so letting Café make navigation decisions has been a learning process.
With Café, Stanley has found a new friend to keep him on the path of greater independence as he enjoys retirement back in Hollywood, Florida.