Our first Guide Dogs for the Blind (GDB) puppy, a German Shepherd Dog by the name of Flan, entered a busy family household with a large free roaming rabbit, guinea pigs, birds, and two family dogs – an English Cocker and an Irish Setter. Flan graduated and worked in Tucson, Arizona. We were hooked! Posie, a black Lab, graduated then came more and more. The kids are gone and here I still am.
In 1995, I accepted GDB Leader responsibilities with a focus on Training and Socialization. I feel very strongly about the role of the Leader working with the GDB Community Field Representative to provide support and problem solving for the raisers in order for pups and members to have a successful experience. We have a terrific group of dedicated raisers who not only are a lot of fun to be with but who are providing an important community service as well.
Junior Blind of America 2005 Volunteer Luncheon
On April 6, Debra, Foundation for the Junior Blind Director of Residential Services, presented the 2005 Volunteer of the Year Award from the Children’s Residential Program to L.A. Southwest Guide Dog Raisers Leader, Pat.
Guide Dog Users of California Special Recognition Award – 2006
On October 28, 2006 Leader Pat and members of L.A. Southwest were honored when Shirley (right) of Guide Dog Users of California presented a special plaque to a surprised Pat during ceremonies held in Los Angeles at the 2006 California Council for the Blind convention.
For the past several years, L.A. Southwest members have provided assistance to the hundreds of GDUC and CCB Convention attendees during their 3-day annual meetings in Los Angeles.
Manhattan Beach “Person of the Month” Award – 2010
Originally posted at http://guidedogs.blogspot.com/2010/05/celebrating-leader.html on Wednesday, May 12, 2010
At the Manhattan Beach, Calif., city council meeting last week, Mayor Mitch Ward proclaimed Pat Whitehead, Los Angeles Southwest Guide Dog Raisers Leader, his Person of the Month for the month of May. Pat was honored for her more than 40 years as a community service volunteer with special focus given to her work for Guide Dogs for the Blind. Pat’s puppy raising group was there to provide support and were included in the photo with members of Manhattan Beach City Council (naturally, the council members specifically asked that the puppies be a part of the photo!). Of course, all in attendance were wowed by the excellent behavior of the canine participants during the meeting, including 4 month-old Khaki, the youngest puppy in the group.
The plaque presented to Pat reads:
The City Council of the City of Manhattan Beach does hereby proudly recognize Pat Whitehead for her distinguished service to the community and designate her as the Person of the Month. Dated this 4th day of May, 2010. Signed, Mayor Mitch Ward.