Since training together in the fall of 2007, Donna and Huey have been a perfect match. Donna is visually impaired and Huey is a highly-trained guide dog. Donna and Huey live a great life; they have accomplished so much in their six years working together. Using a guide dog reconnected Donna with her world and it has provided immeasurable renewed freedom, independence and safety. Living in the rural areas around Houston, the team experiences a different side of life that we ‘city dwellers’ rarely see. Donna’s neighborhood consists of open fields, sheep, horses, cows and plenty of ranch dogs and cats.
The team thrives in this environment. Big horses and fluffy sheep are a part of everyday life and they don’t miss a beat walking down her country roads. Huey keeps Donna safe and close to the side of the road, all while watching for cracks in the path, fallen tree limbs, puddles and any other obstacles that could come into their path. However, their work together doesn’t stop there. Huey also accompanies Donna and her husband to sheepherding trials and shows where their pack of border collies gets to show off their skills. It’s Huey’s job to get Donna safely through the crowds of people at the shows, working around many other dogs, livestock, and vendor stands to help find the correct destinations for her. Huey has no problem waiting patiently while Donna’s husband and his team show off their skills in the rings. They are an amazing team and work great together; they are well bonded and know each other’s ins and outs.
Earlier this year it became apparent to Donna that there was something going on with Huey’s health and she was worried. Extensive exams and lab tests revealed that Huey had developed a liver disease – Degenerative Vascular Hepatopathy (VH). This diagnosis was not easy to find and the family was left with a hefty vet bill. Through the combined efforts of the family, a donation from the S.A. Founders Lions Club and emergency funding from Guide Dogs of Texas, Huey’s vet bills were paid. However, to maintain Huey’s liver health, Donna and her family could use your help. The daily medication costs approximately $60 a month. Huey needs to stay on this medication for the rest of his life, that’s over $700 a year for just one medication. Additionally, follow-up vet visits and lab work to ensure that Huey is staying healthy are very important. With treatment, Donna and Huey will continue to work beautifully together. Can you help to keep this amazing guide dog in tip-top shape? Donate here