This September, Natural Balance, maker of premium-quality pet food, and Guide Dogs for the Blind, a non-profit organization that raises and trains exceptional guide dogs and serves the blind or visually impaired, are partnering up to spread awareness about the incredible bond between people who are blind and their guide dogs.
The celebration was inspired by an experience of Natural Balance’s co-founder, Dick Van Patten, who was blindfolded during a visit to a guide dog school and got to experience how these amazing creatures provide mobility to the visually impaired. Guide dogs provide a social bridge, opening a world of possibilities for friendship and human connection, all while showcasing the incredible capabilities of man’s best friend.
Natural Balance has recognized the nine human-canine teams below as outstanding examples of the profound, inspiring partnerships that humans and their dogs are capable of—and something all dog lovers could aspire to.
The Top Human-Canine Teams Who Make Us Believe, Listed Alphabetically:
Ashleigh Hertzig and Yuri (New York, NY)
Ashleigh’s guide dog Yuri has given her the confidence to fulfill her dream of moving to New York City and working in the heart of Times Square.
Bruce Gilmour and Marley (Vancouver, Canada)
Bruce’s guide dog Marley helps him live a free and spontaneous lifestyle by opening many doors for him—both literally and figuratively.
David Cooper and Parnelli (New York, NY)
David has a successful career in the financial industry in sales, which requires considerable travel, with Parnelli as his travel partner.
Maia Scott and Fiddler (San Francisco, CA)
Maia’s guide dog Fiddler gave her the strength to make a big career change: she is now a teacher of theatre and art to people with disabilities.
Maile George and Jasmine (Concord, CA)
Maile’s guide dog Jasmine has given her the courage to enjoy volunteer work, take classes and make new friends.
Mary Kozy and Regina (Huntley, IL)
Mary’s guide dog Regina gives her the mobility to enjoy her favorite activities, be it Scrabble, walks to the farmers market or trips to the lake.
Melissa Hudson and Camry (Los Angeles, CA)
Melissa’s guide dog Camry has accompanied her around three continents: North America, Europe and Asia.
Michelle Yoo and Oscar (San Pablo, CA)
Together, this dynamic duo tackles grueling college classes with grace, charm and lots of belly rubs.
Tom Kowalski and Dynamo (San Ramon, CA)
Tom and his energetic guide dog Dynamo walk 40-50 miles every week to stay in shape.