Debbie lives with her husband William in Westland Michigan.  She is the president of the Westland Lions Club and a patron of the Leader Dogs For The Blind.  The Visionalist crew was lucky enough to sit down with Debbie and talk to her about her experiences with blindness.  She lost her sight at the age of 44 due to diabetic retinopathy.  “It happened rather suddenly,” Debbie explained.  “It was scary….  It was like we were upside-down.”  She told us how she hated being dependent on people and how Leader Dogs For The Blind gave her back the confidence and independence she thought she had lost.  Debbie spoke of her first dog Josh as if he was her son. 

Debbie really opened our eyes to how a leader dog affects a human’s life.  The bond between dog guide and their master goes deeper than one can possibly imagine.  The conversation got very emotional as Debbie told us about losing Josh.  She had lost her companion, her mobility, and her independence when Josh died.  “That’s when I realized how much Joshua actually did for me.”   So, she decided to go back to Leader Dogs to get a new dog.  A few weeks later she came home with Patrick, her current dog.  “Patrick picked up right where Joshua left off,” explains Debbie.  “Leader Dogs changes lives, in a zillion different ways.”  Now Patrick and Debbie have much to look forward to as they build their relationship and become a team. 



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