Prior to the Boston Marathon, Guiding Eyes For The Blind announced they would name two aspiring guide dogs from a future litter after the race winners. Well Edna and Geoffrey have arrived! The 6-week-old puppies are named for 2017 winners Edna Kiplagat and Geoffrey Kirui. And no surprise—these puppies are adorable.
Guiding Eyes For The Blind breeds and trains guide dogs for people who are blind or visually impaired. Some dogs are even trained to run with their owners. The training process to become a guide dog is just as rigorous as training for a marathon.
Edna and Geoffry will undergo an assessment by Guiding Eyes at 8-weeks-old. If they have the potential to become future guide dogs, they will then go to live with volunteer puppy raisers for about 12 months. These volunteers partner with Guiding Eyes to provide training and socialization for the dogs. Once they reach adolescence, Edna and Geoffry will return to the organization’s headquarters and training center to work with an instructor for at least 5 months. During that time, they will prepare to be matched with their new partner.
Thomas Panek, CEO of Guiding Eyes For The Blind, completed the Boston Marathon this year as well. A visually impaired runner himself, Panek raised over $10,000 for the organization. All services offered by Guiding Eyes are free of cost to blind and visually impaired applicants.
Let’s cheer on Edna and Geoffrey as they start their training.