Thursday, June 12, 2008

Striking a Match

One of the things Guide Dogs for the Blind is known for is our incredible matching process. We take great care to find just the right dog for each person.

As we train dogs to become guides, we learn a lot about their individual personalities, character and capabilities. When someone applies for our training, we learn as much as we can about their stride, manner, personality, lifestyle and goals. And then the matching magic begins!

Here’s your chance to tell us about how well matched your Guide Dog or pet dog is to you! Are you and your dog alike?

And if you’d like a bit of fun, go to to play WHAT DOG ARE YOU? and find out what breed you would be if you died and came back as a dog. (We apologize for directing you to a site that is not accessible.)


  1. I believe that Santana and I were probably too well matched, if it's possible. She and I both have the same negative character traits. :) However, because we were so well matched, we both understand each other well. She's a handful, but she's a wonderful guide.

  2. Oh my god. I don't know how my instructors did it, but it was like they could read my mind. I don't think they could have matched us any better. We both hate winter, we both are very empathetic and can feel others' moods and feelings very well, and sometimes I swear when we're walking, it's as if I can hear her little voice in my head. That's how I know we click. I think communicating with her has been very easy because we're matched so unbelievably well. I hope I have many more years with her so I can notice more cool ways we get along so well. It's been a year and a couple months, and I'm still in disbelief at how well things have gone.

  3. I have always thought that I have a very special dog from a very special school who was selected for me by very intelligent people. I couldn't be happier with my match and I know when I come back for another guide that this one will leave some pretty big shoes to fill. I'm not an easy person to deal with, and they gave me the perfect dog to suit that.

  4. Thank you for your comments! We're thrilled to hear from our grads that their Guide Dogs are working out so well for them.

  5. I have been Bamboozled! This is coming a long time after the original post... I hope someone will notice it! Simplt stated, my partner, Bamboo, is the best guide in the world. This statement is true only because we are so well matched. She loves praise, and I love to talk, who knew? Hmmm, must have been those great instructors at that great place we call GDB.

  6. Hi GDB! This is Binny, a yellow lab guide who graduated from the Oregon Campus last year... does anyone remember me?
    Anyway, I just want to say, that you could not have made a better match than me, and my human Amy! When we're out together, it almost seemes as though I make the decisions for her, and she's told me, and everyone else, that she wishes I would live forever so she'd never have to get another guide! This school is amazing, and the way you matched us up was amazing too!
    By the way, I loooooooooove your blog, and so does my mom, and I am greatful that mine is one of the blogs you put in the links list at the bottom of your blog as well.
    Mom and I love our school, and Mom says that she'll be back after I'm retired (which will never happen because I have so much energy).
    Anyway, awesome blog, and thanks for matching us up! We're so alike that we even have similar styles of writing, imagine that!
    Binny, and Amy too, I guess

  7. We LOVE your enthusiasm! It's so great to hear from you. Wags all around!

  8. Three years ago yesterday, a little female Yellow Lab was born on the San Rafael campus of Guide Dogs for the Blind. Soon after this little girl turned 20 months old, she was assigned, after going through months of training, to be a guide dog and enrich the life of a person who is blind or visually impaired.

    My name is Cynthia Detro, and on June 23, 2007, I was the lucky person to have graduated with such a wonderful little girl.

    Mesa has enriched my life in ways that I never could have dreamed of. She has saved my life on many different occasions, one that I can think of immediately. One day when we were walking home after getting off the bus after work, we were about to make our second street crossing. We had the right of way, yet a semi truck decided it would start to make a right turn. I had given Mesa the forward command, not hearing the truck. Once I did hear it, I thought, "Oh my God, we're in trouble". Thankfully that stress didn't go down the harness handle! Smile! Well, what did Mesa do? She decided that it was safest if she backed up! Realizing this, I went with her movement in utter amazement!

    A year has passed since that day, and our work is still awesome!

    Thank you, GDB, for giving me the most precious gift - the gift of independence, and a great companion on top! I couldn't have asked for a better match! She is my pride and joy, my angel sent from above to watch over me.

    Now, if only she could work for the rest of my lifetime...

  9. What a beautiful story! Thanks for sharing and hugs to Mesa!