Israel Guide Dog Centre for the Blind visit

27 Sep

One of the dogs in training at the centre. It looked so much like Bridget I almost cried!

As promised, I went to the Israel Guide Dog Centre for the Blind yesterday to catch up again with Noach Braun and check out the latest at Bridget’s alma mater. All the  information (plus pics) are over on my other blog, which you can check out here.

The centre is amazing – do take the time to read about it. It was wonderful to honour Bridget and see her first home – which has grown so much and is a fantastic place.

Also, Noach and I are going to discuss helping raise the centre’s presence when I get back home to Los Angeles. Can’t wait!

I took lots of pics. You can see them all on my flickr account here.

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3 Responses to “Israel Guide Dog Centre for the Blind visit”

  1. Debbie November 4, 2010 at +00:00ThuUTC #

    First, I’m very sorry to hear about Bridget. How lucky she was to have someone who cared for her so well.

    I have a question for you. My daughter is raising money for the IGDC. We are animal lovers and when I look at these pictures, I worry about the dogs. I’m not writing to be critical. I’m hoping you put my mind at ease. Do you think the center meets the needs of the dogs? I don’t mean food and shelter. I mean, are they comfortable, exercised and played with?

    All the best,
    Debbie

    • bronte13 November 4, 2010 at +00:00ThuUTC #

      Hi Debbie,

      No, of course I don’t mind you asking. Let me put your mind at ease. These are the MOST loved, cared for dogs in the world. Those photos don’t do them justice. They had just finished a meal when we went to see them, then they were let out to play in this HUGE yard where they all had a great time. The trainers and handlers are in LOVE with those dogs. They are loved just as much in return. Noach, who set up the centre is a dog lover first and foremost. Those dogs are his babies! And Orna (his wife) admits openly she’s more a dog than a people person. I hope you and your daughter can get to the centre one day and see how phenomenal it is and how beautifully those dogs are taken care of and how their physical AND emotional needs are clearly met. Many of the dogs were actually inside the facility too – in the offices with their handlers, or with them in the dorm rooms. There are also beautiful grounds and an orchard where they get to run and play as well as train. The people at the centre are massive dog lovers (it’d be a crazy job if they weren’t) and I know it’s hard on them when they give them to their blind owners. We also got to see two dogs (both are in the picture) whose blind owners were away so they were staying at the centre. If you could see how much those dogs adored the trainers they were hanging out with and how happy the trainers were to have them around, you’d see how well loved and taken care of they are. Play time in the yard was so much fun (and VERY loud) but they let the dogs run and jump and bark and get out all their energy. And we got to play with them too. Truly, these are extremely well loved, cared for, exercised and highly socialised dogs. They HAVE to be in order to make great assistance animals. If their needs weren’t being addressed then there’s no way they would ever go on to be the amazing dogs they are with their new owners.

      Oh, this in no way is a reflection on Bridget. I returned her to the centre and a week later they called and told me they weren’t putting her into the programme. This was a breeding issue – not a centre issue – from the day I got her she was very timid. In the 13 and a half years I owned her she never grew out of that.

      You should absolutely feel free to contact the centre or Norman Leventhal in PA. He goes there all the time and he can certainly allay any of your fears.

      Hope this helps. I think it’s wonderful your daughter is raising money for the centre. It is truly a phenomenal organisation. Those dogs are taken care of BEFORE they are even born. Truly great breeding lines and genuine care on the part of Noach about their well being and health ensured my Golden lived till she was 13 and a half .She did not have the terrible problems Goldens can be plagued with due to uncaring breeders (eg hip dysplasia, heart, elbow, thyroid, eye problems). I am so proud to be associated with this organisation and with the people who run it and with the dogs.

      • Debbie November 4, 2010 at +00:00ThuUTC #

        So great to hear all of this, thank you!

        I’ve met Norm and have spoken to Michael a few times. My daughter has just started her fund raising and we hope to be in Israel in June. If we manage to
        get there we will definitely go to the IGDC.

        Thank you for taking the time to write to me.

        All the best,
        Debbie

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