Joan displayed her incredible service while we were training [at Guide Dogs for the Blind in San Rafael, California]. During the last week of training, Joan and I were walking the streets in search of a store, but Joan stopped at an alley. I told Joan "hop up", which means pay attention. Joan completely ignored my command, and pushed me back to the sidewalk. At that exact moment, a car was racing at us and did not see us until the driver was right beside us. Joan saved my life, knowing that it was not safe to cross the street, which is called intelligent disobedience!
Ever since that time, Joan has given her life to serving and protecting me. Many doors have been opened because of my dog. When Joan is not working with me, we often visit mentally and handicapped children, giving therapy whenever she can. Joan is my hero, please consider her as the guide dog hero of 2012. --Jessica Keel of Umatilla, Florida
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