She Transformed And Freed So Many Lives. I Can’t Imagine The World Without Her

It’s a special day of sorts for Buddy, this German Shepherd. Today commemorates National Seeing Eye Dog Day.

You see, Buddy was the first guide dog in America. With the help of her owner, Morris Frank, she accompanied Frank far and wide, traveling across the US by foot, train, buses and boats. All to show the nation the life-changing aspects that guide dogs could bring. Morris also established the first guide school in America on this date on January 29, 1929.

Buddy later passed away in 1938, but her legacy remains. And this is how it started.

A guide school began in Germany to help World War I veterans blinded in combat. However, it didn’t last long.
Dorothy Harrison Eustis, a dog trainer in Switzerland, wrote about the school in a paper in 1927.
Around then, a young 19-year old man in Tennessee, Morris Frank, read about the school. Morris was blind in both eyes from two separate sporting accidents.
Frank traveled to Switzerland to meet Eustis. He promised to start up a guide school if allowed to train and receive a guide dog.
Eustis accepted and Frank traveled back to the US with Buddy, his new German Shepherd guide dog.
Buddy was originally named Kiss, but Frank thought a young man shouldn’t have a dog named Kiss and renamed her.
He kept his word and started up a guide school on January 29, 1929. Frank named it The Seeing Eye.
Frank and Buddy made their way far and wide across the US to demonstrate the transformative powers of guide dogs.
In 1938, Frank and Buddy traveled from Chicago to Newark in the first plane ride to allow seeing eye dogs. The airline was United Airlines. Buddy later passed on May 23, 1938.
Frank said of Buddy: “…it was in her power to deliver to me the divine gift of freedom!”
Thousands of guide dogs now assist the blind and visually impaired. And it all started with one dog named Buddy.

Source: Found Animals, The Seeing Eye, America Comes Alive