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.
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.