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Tag: anniversary

The Seeing Eye celebrates 80th year

morrisandbuddyAbout 200 graduates of The Seeing Eye, the world’s oldest guide dog school for the blind and visually impaired in the United States and Canada, came together last weekend to celebrate the group’s 80th anniversary.

Every year, nearly 300 students attend The Seeing Eye to learn how to bond with a guide dog. About 8,000 people have been served since the organization’s inception, said Teresa Davenport, director of communications. About 500 puppies are born each year at the school’s Breeding Station in Chester Township, N.J. according to the Newark Star-Ledger

It costs tens of thousands of dollars to match just one person with a dog, yet the school relies solely on donations, Davenport said.

During the three-day reunion, the graduates attended banquets, workshops and toured Morristown.

Morris Frank started The Seeing Eye in 1929, after he was inspired by a 1927 article by well-known dog breeder and philanthropist Dorothy Harrison Eustis about guide dogs assisting blind World War I veterans.

Frustrated by his own lack of mobility as a blind person, he was wrote to Eustis, an American training German shepherd dogs in Switzerland. When she received Morris Frank’s letter, she agreed to help him, according to The Seeing Eye’s website.

“He promised he would return to the United States and spread the word about guide dogs.  In 1928, having completed instruction in Switzerland, he arrived in New York City, proving the ability of his dog Buddy before throngs of news reporters.  His one-word telegram to Mrs. Eustis told the entire story  … ‘Success.’  The Seeing Eye was born, with the dream of making the entire world accessible to people who are blind.”

“It was the beginning of the Great Depression, and here we are, 80 years later, and The Seeing Eye is still going strong,” said Pete Lang, former Seeing Eye instruction and training manager.

“It is the leading guide dog school in the world,” said Marion Gwizdala, president of the Tampa, Fla.-based National Association of Guide Dog Users. He said the school has for years set a standard for dog guide schools. There are about a dozen in the nation, and 72 worldwide accredited by the International Dog Guide Federation.

(Photo: Morris and Buddy)

Maryland SPCA celebrates 140 years of caring

The Maryland SPCA is celebrating its 140th anniversary with a special exhibit at the Maryland Historical Society depicting the history of what is one of the nation’s oldest animal welfare organizations.

The Maryland SPCA was founded in 1869 by a group of Baltimore citizens who were concerned about the welfare of the city’s work horses. Today, it’s one of the busiest adoption centers in the area, placing more than 3,000 dogs and cats a year into new homes and spaying and neutering thousands more.

Entitled “The Maryland SPCA: 140 Years of Caring,” the exhibit is on display from April 1 through June 28 at the Maryland Historical Society, at 201 W. Monument Street in Baltimore. The exhibit is sponsored by Bravo Health.

A special reception will be held at the historical society on Friday, May 8, 2009 from 6 to 9 p.m. The “Wine and Wag” reception, features a tour of the exhibit, a full bar with wines and hors d’oeuvres. Maryland SPCA adoptable dogs will also be on hand, but guest pets are not permitted. Tickets are $30 per person in advance and $35 at the door. (They can be purchased online through the Maryland SPCA website, www.mdspca.org, or by calling 410.235.8826, ext. 135. )

(Photo courtesy of Maryland Historical Society)

Celebrity bulletin: Nick gets Mariah a Jack

Nick Cannon gave his wife Mariah Carey the gift of dog for their one year aniversary, Us Weekly reports.

Although the anniversary isn’t until May, Cannon already procured and gifted the pup — an eight-week-old  female Jack Russell terrier named Cha-Cha. The couple was secretly married last spring in the Bahamas.

Cannon laughed off rumors that he and Carey are expecting a baby.

AKC announces Top 10 dogs of 2008

Labrador Retrievers are still No. 1 in America, for the 18th straight year, but bulldogs are moving up fast, according to registration statistics released today by the American Kennel Club.

More than twice as many Labs were registered in 2008 than any other breed.

Also growing quickly in numbers is the bulldog, which made it to the AKC’s Top Ten list last year for the first time in 70 years. The new figures show it has advanced two more spots, to eighth place.

Here is the full list:

1. Labrador Retriever
2. Yorkshire Terrier
3. German Shepherd
4. Golden Retriever
5. Beagle
6. Boxer
7. Dachshund
8. Bulldog
9. Poodle
10. Shih Tzu

The AKC is celebrating its 125th Anniversary during 2009. In 1884, the year it was founded, the AKC registered only nine breeds, versus the 161 it recognizes today.

They were the Pointer, Chesapeake Bay Retriever, English Setter, Gordon Setter, Irish Setter, Clumber Spaniel, Cocker Spaniel, Irish Water Spaniel and Sussex Spaniel.

These original breeds are all current members of the Sporting Group — dogs bred to help man find and retrieve game.

“I think the comparison of our original nine to the current top 10 illustrates the different needs that dogs fill today,” said AKC spokesperson Lisa Peterson. “In the 1880′s most breeds served a specific purpose or function. Today dogs still serve man and in even more diverse roles — from guide dog to bomb detection K-9 — but most of all, dogs are now companions that ground us to nature in a busy and increasingly technological world.”