Tags Posts tagged with "Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind"

Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind

Sonic, guide dog-in-training. Photo by James Chang

The Guide Dog Foundation (GDF) hosted an in-person puppy class on the grounds of the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum on Thursday, September 24. The event introduced future guide dogs to an outdoor environment with unique sounds, smells, and terrain features.

Guide Dog Foundation trainer and puppy at the Vanderbilt Mansion. Photo by James Chang

The Museum has a community partnership with the GDF and its sister organization America’s VetDogs (AVD). The 43-acre Vanderbilt Estate offers unusual terrain that is ideal for dog training – hills from easy to steep, a forest, cobblestone roads, and stairways. Exposure to wildlife and other dog distractions also assists trainers to socialize young dogs so they can become confident guides for someone who is blind or visually impaired.

The Vanderbilt offers other community-outreach events each year, including special weekends that celebrate veterans and first responders, and a morning exclusively for people with special needs and their families.

Year-round, the Museum extends the national, free-admission, summer-season Blue Star Museums program for active-duty military service members and their families. Each December, the Vanderbilt invites the community to its Tree Lighting event. For more information, visit www.vanderbiltmuseum.org.

Photo courtesy of Guide Dog Foundation

In response to the COVID-19 lock down, the Guide Dog Foundation and America’s VetDogs had to find temporary homes for 280 dogs and puppies in their programs up and down the east coast. Within one week, the Foundation was able to place 175 dogs and puppies in homes on Long Island and  NYC with dedicated volunteers (both old and new). 

Having the dogs out of the kennels allows the Foundation to lower staff on site at their Smithtown campus to help contain the spread of the virus and adhere to the mandated 100% non-essential workers working remotely from home. 

Their dedicated staff of trainers have each taken their dogs home to continue to train guide and service dogs in preparation for the time they can resume classes and placements of our assistance dogs with individuals with disabilities. 

The Guide Dog Foundation is currently in urgent need of volunteer puppy raisers to open their hearts and homes to raise a future guide or service dog for an individual with disabilities. Who wouldn’t want to quarantine with a future assistance dog who will one day provide freedom to an individual with disabilities? To learn more, visit www.guidedog.org to apply or donate. 


Huntington and Northport residents could cruise into a different era at the Hecksher Park ballfields in their choice of classic cars Aug. 27.

The Northport Centerport Lions Club hosted the 54th annual Robert J. Bohaty Memorial Lions Classic auto show featuring dozens of classic cruisers dating back to the 1930s. This year’s show was dedicated to the Lions’ past district governor Howard Wilson and past president Clinton Strait.

Attendees had the opportunity to look, but not touch, Ford Roadsters, Chevy Coupes, a Chevelle SS Convertible, Ford Thunderbirds and even a Crown Victoria that previously served as a police squad car.

Proceeds from the show provide monetary support to the Cleary School for the Deaf in Nesconset, Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind in Smithtown, and the Lions Eye Bank for Long Island, a part of Northwell Health.

Donated funds are also used to support local Cub and Boy Scouts, food pantries, little leagues and aid victims of natural disasters.