Cher Loose said she and her husband, Doug Loose, who run Loose Treasures, adopted Fisher so they can train him in basic commands. Leader Dogs for the Blind is a program that receives funding from the Lions Club, a program that gives guide dogs to the blind at no cost to them.
Doug Loose said Fisher is the only dog in Kentucky being trained as a Leader Dog.
Fisher will be taken to Rochester Hills, Mich., to be trained as a guide dog for the blind in November, a process that Cher Loose said will take a months.
This is typical. When a dog is between 12 and 15 months old, it will be taken to Rochester Hills to be trained as a guide dog for the blind, a process which typically lasts about three months, but before being taken, the dog has to be tested physically and mentally, Loose said.
“He’ll train with a professional trainer that trains dogs specifically for the blind,” Loose said. “And after that, when he’s done, then he’ll bring in all the blind people that will be getting guide dogs, and he’ll match them up to see who’s compatible.”
Then the trainer will train Fisher with a specific blind person for about a month, added Loose.
Since they adopted him in January, Fisher has been “very busy,” Loose said. They’ve taken him to the Variety Show in Grand Rivers, to Central Park in New York, to Cadiz production of “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” and to several restaurants, including Subway and Cracker Barrel.
According to Doug Loose, Fisher also recently visited Fort Campbell and met the base commander, General John Campbell, after which the general crouched so he could shake Fisher’s hand.
“He’s been an ambassador Cadiz, Ky., Lions Club,” Loose said. “They are responsible for Leaders Dogs for the Blind.”
Fisher is generally very well behaved, although he has recently started barking, so the Loose’s took him to obedience school, which helped tremendously, said Cher Loose, who added that he only needed to go for one day.
Lions Club started Leader Dogs for the Blind about 70 years ago, and they are still involved in it, according to Loose.
Anyone wanting more information on Leader Dogs can call 1-888-777-5332, or visit www.leaderdog.org. Those in the Trigg County wanting to adopt a future Leader Dog can call Norma Campbell at 924-3342.