Unstoppable – A Guide Dog user’s perspective

3 Lisa and Clyde 2014By Lisa Batist

I used to think of myself as a real go-getter until I got Clyde, my Guide Dog. Now I am really a real go-getter! Never did I dream that on March 15, 2010 my life would be forever changed.  The joy, the unconditional love, the independence and the joyous one-on-one times I share with my boy could never have been given to me by any other.

I believe one of the true defining moments for Clyde and I was a situation where we were walking down a busy downtown street and a stranger followed us for a few blocks.  He finally stopped and talked to me.  He said, “Wow, when you walk together you both walk proudly and with such confidence.  You look straight ahead.  Your head is up and so is your dog’s!”   The reason this was such a defining moment for me relates back to my training with Clyde.  During training, I had a hard time looking up and forward.  I had to learn to trust Clyde enough so that I could walk looking straight ahead.  Not as easy as you all think!   But when a stranger complimented me that day, I realized that Clyde and I were there.  We are a team and a team that cannot be surpassed!

I could not have been matched more perfectly than I am with Clyde! I could never repay Guide Dogs of Texas for what they have given me. I will be eternally indebted to them for the unconditional love, independence and happiness that Clyde has brought to me and my family.

To help support more clients like Lisa who need a Guide Dog please consider donating to our non profit Guide Dogs of Texas.

Guide Dogs of Texas logoWhy Support Guide Dogs of Texas?
Guide Dogs of Texas is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that is supported strictly by the generosity of foundations, corporations and individuals. Our mission is to provide quality guide dogs to Texans who are visually impaired to increase their freedom, mobility and independence. We receive no funding from local, state or national government or insurance claims.

The cost to breed, raise, train and match a dog with a client is approximately $50,000 but we charge our clients only $1. Your gift will help us fulfill our mission while providing you with the satisfaction of knowing that you are helping an individual gain their freedom, mobility and independence.

Thank you for considering a gift to Guide Dogs of Texas. We are a qualified not-for-profit organization (Tax ID # 74-2530268) and all donations are tax deductible to the extent of the law. Guide Dogs of Texas receives no government funding or insurance payments and survives solely from donations. Your donation will greatly support our mission of providing quality guide dogs to visually impaired Texans.



Design challenge for Guide Dogs of Texas 5K

Guide Dogs of Texas logoGuide Dogs of Texas is hosting a very special design challenge to celebrate their upcoming 5k in Austin, Texas.

Theme: The Guide Dogs of Texas Puppy Love Fun Run

Guide Dogs is asking for your help with the T Shirt Design!  You have the chance to create the single, greatest design ever imagined by humans or animals. Please submit 1 color design via email and they will notify the Winner at their Oct 2nd tour as well as, post the winner on social channels. Please submit designs in .jpg or .pdf format to April Medellin at April@GuideDogsofTexas.org
The deadline to enter is Tuesday, September 30th at 4 pm CST

5K Information
Date: Saturday February 28, 2014
Registration Fee: $30 (Early Registration) Sept 1-Nov 30, $40 Dec 1– Feb 27, $45 (walk-in)
Form a team, donate to the “stride for sight”, sponsor this event, or set up a vendor booth!

Watch www.GuideDogsofTexas.org for more info! Or call us at 1.800.831.9231
For vendor booths or Sponsorship opportunity please contact
April Medellin Marketing Manager at (210) 366-4081 or email at April@GuideDogsofTexas.org.

We will be teaming up with Carrera Races who is committed to bolstering the bottom lines of San Antonio Nonprofit organizations.  http://www.carreraraces.com/

Become a sustaining member of Guide Dogs of Texas and help us change lives!

Guide Dogs_sustainer logoGuide Dogs of Texas (GDTX) is a nonprofit organization which promotes freedom, mobility, and independence to visually impaired Texans by providing “the Best Dogs in Sight.”

We breed, raise and train quality Guide Dogs for blind Texans. We clear a path to greater independence by offering one-on-one training for people with visual impairments anywhere in Texas. We are committed to each Guide Dog and handler for the life of the team.

Guide Dogs of Texas has provided Guide Dog Services to Texans since 1998. With the monthly support of donors like you, we can help more people without sight travel safely and participate fully in our communities.

Our Canine Programs

Breeding: Our dogs are carefully bred to ensure the best temperament and health of each puppy. The first eight weeks of the litter’s life is filled with gentle exposures to various sights, sounds, smells, and textures.

Puppy Raising:  From the age of 8 weeks to about 16 months, our puppies are raised by volunteer Puppy Raisers who teach obedience, as well as socializing the puppies and familiarizing them with various environments.

Advanced Training: After graduating the puppy raising program, the dogs receive 6 months of formal training with our Guide Dog Mobility Instructors to learn all their technical skills.

Class:  Once a Guide Dog learns all his skills, he is carefully matched with a blind handler. They spend four weeks training together under the guidance of a certified Guide Dog Mobility Instructor. After graduation, teams are visited at least once a year to provide support and assistance.

Steve Cardenas “I have never driven a sports car, but my Guide Dog Cody is fast and smooth and that’s as close as I’ll get!”.

Dexter 3Reasons to Give
The cost of a guide dog to our clients is simply $1. GDTX receives no funding from government or insurance agencies. It is the support of donors like you that truly impact our mission.

A gift of just $10 a month adds to significant annual support. Furthermore, due to lower fundraising costs –and more stable income –with Sustaining Members’ gifts, your contributions have an even greater impact.

Increasing numbers of blind Texans request dogs each year. Your continuous financial support ensures that trained dogs will be plentiful and ready to change lives!

All members will be invited to an annual open house, receive exciting Guide Dogs of Texas Newsletters, and also will be mailed an auto decal to let the world know about your invaluable support for this great organization.

Remember every dollar we receive paves the way to transform the life of a blind Texan.  Call our office today and see how easy it is to sign up and join our sustainer club of monthly giving. 210.366.4081

Life of a volunteer puppy raiser

Lori Wadsworth and ElectraMy name is Lori Wadsworth, and I’m a Puppy Raiser for Guide Dogs of Texas. My puppy’s name is Electra, and she turned a year old on April 9, 2014. She was 8.5 weeks old when I brought her home. The “E” litter is super smart and caught on quickly from the very start. My goal in raising Electra is to do the very best that I can in obedience training, play sessions, free run sessions, and training walks in order for her to move up into Advanced Training.  Even though it will be really hard to give her up, I am excited about her future career.

Electra goes everywhere with me:  the grocery store, library, nail salon, hair salon, doctor’s office, Starbucks, church, and the list goes on and on.  We Guide Dogs of Texas logotry to schedule play dates as well at Guide Dogs of Texas with her brother, Eddie, who has the same energy level as my little Electra.  When she isn’t working or walking (which are her two very favorite things to do), she is allowed to be just a regular, well-behaved dog. We are not without our challenges, but she is maturing rapidly and thus our challenges are much fewer now.

There are many things I love about being a Puppy Raiser, but the things I love most are watching her get so excited when I ask her if she’s ready to walk or go to work and the fact that we go everywhere together. Puppy Raising requires a lot of time and patience (with the dog and yourself), but it is so rewarding. Electra is my first pup, but she will definitely not be my last. Puppy Raisers have an excellent support system as help is only a text, email, or phone call away. I would highly encourage anyone with a love for animals and the willingness to make a huge, but overwhelmingly satisfying, commitment to be a Puppy Raiser.

Here at Guide Dogs of Texas, every puppy holds the promise of being someone’s eyes.   The dedication of our volunteer Puppy Raisers and the many hours they put into the puppies builds a strong foundation for the puppies’ future.   Would you like to be involved in Puppy Raising?

If you would like to help by donating or volunteering your time to this great local organization please contact our office at 210.366.4081 or visit our website at www.GuideDogsofTexas.org.  No joy can equal the joy serving others and we at Guide Dogs of Texas know that “Volunteering is a work of Heart”!

Another way to help is recently we added “Donate a Car for a cause” to our website.  Go to this link to learn more: http://www.donatecarusa.com/charities/guide-dogs-of-texas/landing




Guide Dogs of Texas hosting fundraiser at LOL Comedy Club

Guide Dogs of Texas is hosting a fundraiser at LOL Comedy Club – come laugh with us……

Guide Dogs of Texas logoDate: July 23rd 2014 Wednesday

Time: 8 pm
Place: 618 NW Interstate 410 Loop Frontage Rd #312, San Antonio, TX 78216
Ticket Sales: $20.00 each

LOL Comedy Club_logo 

Come join us as comedian Kris Shaw takes the stage, Meet a Guide Dog user and Guide Dog in person! Support our mission, Guide Dogs of Texas provides quality guide dogs for Texans who are visually impaired to increase their freedom, mobility and independence. We are committed to personalized service and lifelong dedication to our clients and their guide dogs.


We will have a guest speaker after the comedian sand a table show, set up for meet and greet, as well as a few items for sale!


Call our office today to get your reserved seat with a friend!


210.366.4081 Ask for Annie Parker or email April at April@guidedogsoftexas.org

Guide Dogs of Texas to hold on-site event May 6th – One of many nonprofits participating in The Big Give SA

Guide Dogs of Texas logoAbout The Big Give SA As Bexar County is home to numerous nonprofit organizations, San Antonio is an epicenter of fundraising events; none of these events, however, are quite like The Big Give SA. The Big Give, a previous success in other major cities such as Austin, is different from other fundraising efforts because its website (www.thebiggivesa.org) showcases hundreds of nonprofits throughout Bexar County, giving anyone in the world a chance to contribute to local organizations via online donation on May 6th. What makes this effort especially monumental is that it not only benefits participating nonprofits by rallying community support, but also rewards that support by offering these organizations prize incentives and matching donations throughout the 24-hr period.

Big Give Image Crazy About GivingGuide Dogs of Texas Participation GDTx is a nonprofit that raises and trains guide dogs for the blind, offering these dogs, as well as specialized training and lifetime support, to their clients for the cost of just one dollar. Although The Big Give is an online day of giving, GDTx understands that not all of their supporters have access to or understanding of this method of donation. This, as well as the desire to share more about their impact in the lives of blind and visually impaired Texans, is why they are holding an on-site “Big Give party” on May 6th from 4 p.m.-7 p.m. at their 1503 Allena Drive location. Visitors will receive assistance with online giving, and the organization is accepting cash and checks as well. Each donor will also receive a raffle ticket, giving them the chance to win a GDTx gift basket in drawings held every hour. Guests will be able learn more about what GDTx offers its clients, discover volunteer opportunities, and meet graduated guide dog teams, as well as puppies in training. Light refreshments will be provided, and children’s activities are available.

Guide Dogs of Texas Golf Classic set for May 18

Guide Dogs of Texas logoEnjoy a wonderful day of golf and support Guide Dogs of Texas.

Sign up now for the Guide Dogs of Texas Golf Classic on Sunday, May 18 at the award-winning Canyon Springs Golf Club.  Tee-time for this wonderful event is at 1:30 p.m. and will include guide dogs and puppies walking the course, blind-fold putting contest, blind golfing contests, amazing catering, some big-name players, silent auction, and the good will of supporting this worthwhile charity. Each player receives snacks on the course, a player gift, generous buffet dinner, door prizes, stuffed goody bags, green fees and cart.  Dr. Andrew Geller, owner of South Texas Veterinary Ophthalmology, is Tournament Chairman.

DSC_0008Whether you play golf or not, you can support Guide Dogs of Texas AND buy some incredible gifts by participating on the tournament’s online auction process from May 1 through May 27 at http://www.32auctions.com/guidedogsoftexas.  Items include San Antonio Spurs tickets for the 2014-2015 season, an autographed basketball, Miranda Lambert autographed guitar, an original painting from John Bramblitt and much more!

Former International Blind Golf Association World Champion Bruce Hooper will play in the tournament.  Proceeds from the tournament will fund the successful programs and services of Guide Dogs of Texas, the only guide dog school in the state of Texas and one of only 11 in the United States.  Guide Dogs of Texas provides quality guide dogs for Texans who are visually impaired to increase their freedom, mobility, and independence.

Guide Dogs of Texas is 100% donor supported through corporations, foundations, churches, civic groups and individuals. It does not receive government funding nor insurance payments. In compliance with international certification, when a client receives a dog, the charge is $1 for a highly trained service dog, ongoing training for the client and aftercare visits for the team.



Welcoming new puppies for guide dog training – can you help?

Guide Dogs of Texas logoIt’s that time of year and we couldn’t be more excited. This year will bring at least one, possibly two, litters of new pups to Guide Dogs of Texas. At GDTX, these pups have been specially bred for a life as a guide dog. Great care is taken with these pups from the very moment they are born. Planning begins months in advance and that is where you come in.

We are creating a special nursery to raise the puppies during their first eight weeks of life and to develop their sensory, social, problem-solving and physical skills in preparation for their future jobs. We are re-configuring the available space and are stocking the nursery. We are in need of puppy supplies to include a whelping pool, video baby monitor, exercise pens, storage tubs, baby wipes, feeding supplies, puppy ID bands, very special small collars, and puppy development toys, to name a few.

Guide Dogs IMG_7772Mom will need special veterinary care and lab work prior to delivery, and once the puppies arrive, the vet will be extra busy with initial vet visits to include thorough exams and shots. The puppies will be acclimating to all kinds of sights and sounds from the moment they are born. Toys are used to encourage exploration and to test curiosity. Every precaution is taken to help these puppies put their best paw forward for a life as the eyes for a visually impaired Texan. Can you help?

We estimate the cost of the supplies listed here to be approximately $5,000. Your donation today, in any amount, will help us to stock the nursery. All contributors to the breeding program will receive an invitation to “Puppy Induction,” the day when the puppies graduate from the nursery and are sent home with volunteer Puppy Raisers. Mark your donation for “Breeding Program” and your gift will be used to welcome the new puppies in 2014.

To Donate now online please go to https://www.youcaring.com/GDTxPuppyProgram

“Walk of Independence” Memorial at Guide Dogs of Texas

Guide Dogs of Texas logoby Steve Cardenas, Outreach Manager, Guide Dogs of Texas

The human-animal bond is a fascinating phenomenon that sets the course for success with each and every dog born into our guide dog program at Guide Dogs of Texas.

The bonds with our guide dogs begin at birth, when we cradle the newborn pups to acclimate them to human touch, and continues to strengthen as the pups bond with their foster puppy raisers, then their dedicated professional Guide Dog Mobility Instructors. The instructors train the dogs how to guide, avoid obstacles and use their own initiatives to make decisions.

Finally, it is time for this special dog to brighten a blind Texan’s life. After a thorough client assessment; the right dog is matched to the right Texan. It is a life changing partnership which will last for many years. On average, guide dogs retire at the age of ten years while some dogs may work longer.

GuideDogs USE Steve and Cody ID photoMy own life has been deeply changed by my first guide dog, Willow, and now by my second guide dog, Cody. These two loving and caring animals have given me the gifts of freedom, independence and mobility. I count both of them among the greatest blessings in my life.

At Guide Dogs of Texas, we understand how deeply a human-animal bond can run, so we created a “Walk of Independence” dedicated to people and animals, which have made a positive impact on our lives. You can honor your loved ones – human or animal – AND support the charitable work of Guide Dogs of Texas too.

Our dogs travel on this walkway often while training to become Guide Dogs.

You may order an engraved memorial brick, and a substantial portion of your donation will support the Guide Dogs of Texas mission. Your memorial brick will be set within our dedicated walkway. Join loyal pet lovers who have honored their relationships already.

Two levels of memorial bricks are available for placement on the dedicated walkway at the Guide Dogs of Texas headquarters.

GuideDogsBricks_photoSmall Brick $100
3 lines, 14 letters/spaces per line.
Large Brick $500
16” x 16” with a logo and company name; 12 lines, 28 spaces/letters.
To order a brick today, call 1-800-831-9231 or go online to http://guidedogsoftexas.org/how-to-help/donate/brick-sales/

Guide Dogs of Texas provides quality guide dogs for Texans who are visually impaired to increase their freedom, mobility, and independence. We are committed to personalized service and lifelong dedication to our clients and their guide dogs. To learn more about what we do or how you can help go to www.guidedogsoftexas.org

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