Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, April 22, 2017

MVNews this week:  Page A:8



Mountain Views-News Saturday, April 22, 2017 



Happy Tails

by Chris Leclerc


Prior to the late 1920’s, the idea of a dog helping a 
blind man navigate the layout of his own home, 
much less city sidewalks, was unheard of in America. 
There were certain dogs trained to do military and 
police work at that time, but training canines to assist 
the seeing-impaired had not yet been considered on 
our continent.

 This would soon change after a forward-thinking 
Swiss woman named Dorothy Harrison Eustis 
introduced the concept of blind-assistant service 
dogs to the United States, in an article she wrote in 
the November 5, 1927 issue of Saturday Evening 

 At 41-years-old, Eustis had made a name for herself 
in Switzerland as a skilled police dog trainer. Then 
one day, in early 1927 she visited a school she had 
heard about in Germany where canines were being 
trained to assist veterans who’d lost their eyesight 
while fighting in WWI.

 Inspired and enthused, Eustis returned home from 
Germany smitten by the prospect of transforming 
the lives of countless people through the training of 
canines to assist the blind. Soon after, her observations 
from her visit at the school, in the Saturday Evening 
Post article.

 Over the course of 4 months she’d watched 
trainers lead the dogs through increasingly 
challenging exercises in concentration, obedience, 
and obstacle work. Wearing a rigid harness, the 
dogs learned to slow and slacken to indicate a curb, 
stop and sit before stairs or traffic, and carefully 
lead past objects such as trees or trash cans. After 
the initial training, the school paired 15 dogs with 
their masters who spent the next month bonding 
and training together.

 “The first days were difficult“, wrote Eustis. “The 
blind man is nervous, distrustful and supercritical, as 
well he might be.” But he listened to lectures on care, 
feeding and authority, as well as memorized raised 
maps of the city. Then one day a crop of men called 
for their dogs. Each ran to his master, laying his head 
on his hand to let him know he was there. In order to 
graduate, they each had to venture into the city.

 “I shall never forget the change that came over one 
man as he turned away from that gate”, she wrote. 
“It was as though a complete transformation had 
taken place before my eyes. One moment it was an 
uncertain blind man tapping with a cane, and the 
next it was an assured person with his dog firmly in 
hand and his head up, who walked 
toward us quickly and firmly, giving 
his orders in a low, confident voice.”

 Eustis asked permission to join 
one of the teams on their first 
venture out. Weaving through 
crowds of shoppers, avoiding 
bicyclists and navigating barriers, 
the team of two maneuvered their 
way through town with remarkable 
ease. Not once during the hour-
long walk was the dog’s attention 
distracted. They returned to the 
school, whereupon Eustis knew she 
had been converted!

 Many of the men who arrived at the school were 
weak from inactivity, too ashamed to rely on family 
or friends to lead them, Eustis observed. “In four 
short weeks, they are remade; life takes on a new 
interest; shoulders lost their droop, back straighten 
up and feet forget to shuffle.”

 In response to her article, Eustis received a flood of 
mail including a letter from a gentleman who lived 
in Nashville, Tennessee named Morris Frank. Being 
blind himself, Mr. Frank offered to help Eustis start 
a blind-assistant canine training school in the United 
States, if she would be willing to teach him how to 
work with a trained dog of his own.

 In April of 1928, Morris Frank met his first dog, 
a German Shepherd named Kiss which he later 
changed to Buddy. In fact, Frank chose the same 
name for all of his subsequent 6 guide dogs. In an 
interview, Frank stated, “As I put my hand down on 
Buddy, I knew she was going to be my Declaration 
of Independence, and give me back the freedom I so 
long desired to come and go as I please.”

 On January 29, 1929 Morris Frank kept his 
promise to Dorothy Harrison Eustis by joining her 
in co-founding The Seeing Eye, America’s first guide 
dog training center. With such a unique specialty, no 
facility and a lack of trainers, the first several years 
proved challenging.

 In 1932, having realized that Nashville’s climate 
was too hot for sustained activity, they settled 
the non-profit in Whippany, New Jersey. But the 
Depression depleted their resources quickly. Besides 
Eustis’ small fortune, the Seeing Eye sought support 
from donations, trust incomes and endowments.

 In 1934, they decided to fix the price of a dog at 
$150 which would include travel, training, boarding 
and lifetime follow-ups. Those who served in the 
military paid $1. These prices have remained the 
same to this day and no one has ever been denied a 
dog due to financial inability. The Seeing Eye has ever 
accepted government assistance. They rely solely on 
contributions from their loyal supporters.

 Thanks to the inspired compassion, vision and 
drive of one remarkable renaissance woman, 
countless seeing-impaired people have benefited 
from a unique partnership with a willing and well-
trained four-legged friend! It just goes to show what a 
difference the life of one person can make when one 
chooses to follow their heart to help make a better life 
for those less fortunate than themselves.


With life’s 
abundance of 
downtime and 
FUN time are 
vital to happiness. 
There comes a moment of saturation -- aka stress 
-- in living and working. A wise person builds fun 
and relaxation into their schedule to steer clear 
of reaching the point of no return and saying, 
“Ahh…I can’t take it anymore!” It is hard to get off 
the hamster wheel, so here are a few tips for hitting 
the all-important reset button for mind, body, and 

 First, take time to unplug. In yoga, we could 
relate this to pratyahara or withdrawal of the 
senses. The mind cannot settle when it’s pulled in 
multiple directions. What we see, hear, feel and 
taste affects us. To practice withdrawing the senses, 
find a quiet place to be for a while, close the eyes, 
and just concentrate on the breath. Consciously, 
hear the sound of the breath as you smooth it out. 
This action alone significantly changes the inner 

Next, do something for your body that will 
contribute to your well-being. This could be going 
to a yoga class, going for a walk, making a healthy 
meal, or visiting your local wellness professional for 
a service. Action will change your energy. Think of 
it as TLC for you. If you’re in a deep rut, this could 
be hard. Do it anyway. Changing your prana, or 
vital life force energy, changes your perspective of 
the world. Positivity and inspiration will usually 
slip in. 

 Last, have fun! Spend time with someone you 
love and have a good time together with laughs 
included. Connecting with others nourishes us 
spiritually. Meet up, attend yoga, and make your 
next date for spending time. 

Love and Namaste, see you in class! 

Keely Totten 

E-RYT 500

Come reset and practice with us at Yoga Madre


Real Life Tips from LIfe's Instruction Manual

When you go to the market 
and do you fill your basket 
with whatever the grocer 
hands you? Do you go to 
a restaurant and accept 
whatever the cook is making 
that day? How about leaving 
your home, do you just follow the road without 
direction? Of course, you don’t! So why would 
you ever approach your life passively, going along 
with circumstances?

 As we age, it’s easy to trek the path of least 
resistance, but that is not necessarily the way to 
joy. Happiness is circumstance dependent; joy is 
infused with gratitude regardless of conditions.

 Sometimes we put more effort into thinking 
about our grocery list than thinking about creating 
a life that we love. To live a vision driven life, we 
must be diligent with guarding our thoughts and 
direct our mind.

 It’s easy to become complacent, but the 
transformation is just one question away. When 
we ask ourselves an empowering question, it puts 
us on the path of self-awareness, and that’s where 
growth happens.

 We could awaken each day asking ourselves, 
“Ugh, how am I ever going to get through today?” 
Conversely, we could train ourselves to ask, “What 
would I love?” Another question is “How do I want 
to feel?” One method you could use to expand 
your imagination is to ask the question from the 
greatest possibility such as, “If I could do anything 
in the world, what would I do? That is an inquiry 
that is likely to excite you. 

 As you are going through your day, notice the 
internal conversation you are having with yourself. 
Make a commitment to yourself to start having an 
empowering dialogue with yourself.

 Lori A. Harris is a lawyer and empowerment 
coach that helps women that women live their best 
lives. You can find out more about her at www. and download her free app the 
Gratitude Train in Google Play and the App Store.


Oreo is a sweet and lively ten-
year-old Lab mix girl with 
beautiful brown eyes who truly 
enjoys being around people. 
She is quite stunning in her 
gorgeous black coat and has a 
trail of white hair running from 
her nose down to her chest 
and belly. Oreo is extremely 
affectionate and can often be 
seen walking close to her walker 
on a loose leash. You will often 
see her with a big friendly 
smile on her face enjoying 
the companionship of her 
walker. Her prior family had 
to surrender her as they were 
moving to a new location where 
pets were not allowed. Despite 
the loss of her home she has 
always been sweet and loving 
with us and would be a perfect addition to a family 
looking to provide an affectionate home for a kind 
and loyal senior dog. Please stop buy and visit this 
beautiful girl, especially if you and your family 
want to provide the forever 
home this well behaved senior 
girl truly deserves. Oreo will 
be sure to cover your face in 
loving kisses to thank you if you 
do! Her adoption fee is $145, 
which includes spay surgery, 
a microchip, first vaccinations 
and a free wellness check-up 
at a participating veterinarian. 
Oreo also qualifies for the 
“Senior for Senior” adoption 
discount. Feel free to call 
us at (626) 286-1159 for 
more information on Oreo. 
ID#27893. She currently 
resides at the San Gabriel 
Valley Humane Society located 
at 851 E. Grand Avenue in 
San Gabriel which is located 
off San Gabriel Blvd, north of 
Mission and south of Las Tunas Drive. To arrange 
a ‘Meet and Greet’ with Brutus, please stop by any 
time from 10:30am to 4:30pm Tuesday through 

LELAND needs a chance!! He’s only 2, and very 
handsome. He wants so much to be loved and safe 
in a forever home. It may take him a little while to 
feel comfortable and to trust, but give him some 
playtime with a feather wand or another toy, and 
he will warm up quickly. Leland has a twin sister 
named Nigella, 
should you wish 
to adopt both, 
but it is not 
necessary, as he 
does get along 
with most other 
cats. Open your 
heart and home 
to one who is just 
a little bit shy, 
and make a positive change in a furry life. 

 Adoption fee is only $100, which includes 
neuter, microchip, exam & vaccines for Leland and 
also his sister. Our cats are negative FELV/FIV 
unless otherwise indicated. 

 See more pictures, adoption info & application 
on our website, Sorry, we 
are not accepting cats at this time.

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