There are many rewards that await the winners of the Boston Marathon, but this one may be the cutest.
Guiding Eyes For The Blind have announced that they are going to name two aspiring guide dogs from future litters after the winners of the Boston Marathon. The organization breeds and trains guide dogs for people who are blind or visually impaired and for children with autism. The puppies, who are not born yet, should arrive sometime around the marathon.
Thomas Panek, the CEO of Guiding Eyes For The Blind, is a visually-impaired runner. He has completed dozens of marathons and trains alongside his own guide dog, Gus. This year he will be running Boston with two volunteer guide runners, Russell Pixton and Obed LeDuc. In a statement, Panek says that he is running “to raise money and awareness for Guiding Eyes, so that we can continue to provide trained guide dogs to people who are blind or visually impaired.”
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According to the organization, it costs $50,000 to breed, raise, train, match and support the guide dog throughout its lifetime. They create more than 160 guide dog teams every year. All services are offered free of charge to families who need them.
“In celebration of what I’m sure will be a great race on April 17, we are proud to announce that we will name two puppies from upcoming litters after the male and female winners of one of the greatest—and most competitive—marathons in the world,” added Panek.