Meet Eddie and guide dog Oakley

A man with dark hair smiles as he stands behind a goldador in a guide dog harness.

Guide dog Oakley stands on the inside of a red circle with handler Eddie standing behind her.

Eddie Torres and guide dog Oakley

Sanford, Florida

Eddie Torres was 18 when he started losing his vision to glaucoma. He lost the vision in his left eye overnight, and his right eye followed within a few years. The losses were difficult at first; gone were his dreams of becoming a nurse and giving up his car was painful. But as he learned new skills such as Braille, speech software, and computer technology, his world broadened. Getting his first guide dog was the next step to independence.

“I thought about it for a few years but I was kind of scared,” he says. “I didn’t want to give up my cane; I thought the cane would be safer. But something inside me told me—it’s time—and I just thank God that I did, because I love it!” And by “loving it” he means working with Oakley, the super-smart yellow goldador at his side.

Before meeting Oakley, he was nervous. But her friendly, peaceful mannerisms helped Eddie relax. “I was amazed,” he says. “We hit it off from the beginning!” Oakley will guide Eddie as he works at Lighthouse, plays bongo and conga drums at his church, and keeps up with his young daughter’s sports activities. Eddie looks forward to taking his wife out to dinner and the movies with Oakley by his side. “With Oakley, I’m feeling more confident,” he says.

Did you know we provide guide and service dogs to those who need them free of cost? If you know someone like Eddie that could use a guide dog, encourage them to apply today.

Posted on December 10, 2018 | Category: Blog, Graduates, Our Dogs