Miss. native receives Gallant Hearts guide dog - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Miss. native receives Gallant Hearts guide dog

Posted: Updated:
Johnson, who lives in Horn Lake in DeSoto County, says this gift from Gallant Heats will allow her to live her life with more options. Johnson, who lives in Horn Lake in DeSoto County, says this gift from Gallant Heats will allow her to live her life with more options.
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

The first graduate of Gallant Hearts Guide Dog Center has been placed with her recipient, a Mississippi native who began going blind at age nine.

Zoey, a black Doberman Pinscher, has been training for two and a half years for her role as a guide dog for 39-year-old Connie Johnson. Zoey completed her training at Gallant Hearts Guide Dog Center, a non-profit organization in Madison with a mission to provide well-trained, healthy guide dogs to people who are blind.

Johnson, Zoey's new owner, says she has had guide dogs for the majority of her life after retinal detereoration began to cause her to go blind at age nine. Johnson says Zoey has joined her life at the perfect time.

"[Zoey] is an amazing Christmas present," smiled Johnson. 

The Gallant Hearts organization spent nearly two and a half years fund raising and training Zoey to make it possible to place her with Johnson. Dogs who enter training with Gallant Hearts will be provided, free of charge, to qualified individuals throughout the United States.

Johnson, who lives in Horn Lake in DeSoto County, says this gift from Gallant Heats will allow her to live her life with more options.

"[Zoey and I] are starting a new journey together, and she will help me get through the world," says Johnson.

Employees with Gallant Hearts say the guide dogs generally work for seven to eight years with their owners, and are then released back to the life of being a family pet. While the organization makes guide dogs like Zoey available to recipients free of charge, the value of the dogs can range from $35,000 to $50,000.

Copyright 2012 MSNewsNow. All rights reserved. 

 

Powered by WorldNow