Longfellow Students Meet Guide Dogs
Two fourth grade classes at Longfellow Elementary School recently met dogs trained to assist blind and visually impaired adults. Kathy Hanley, Longfellow’s librarian, arranged the visit because one of this year’s Maine Student Book Award nominees, “How I, Nicky Flynn, Finally Get a Life (and a dog)” by Art Corriveau, tells the story of a relationship between a boy and a guide dog.
Three local residents who have raised guide dogs for a long time came to Longfellow with their dogs. Diane Clark brought her seven-month-old pup, Rave. Doris Dennee came with Hopi, who will be a therapy dog at Maine Medical Center, and Lee-Anne Leverone brought her one-year-old dog, Juanita.
Students learned about how the dogs are raised and tested before beginning their formal training at Guiding Eyes for the Blind in Yorktown Heights, New York. During the Longfellow visit, the dogs practiced being in a public setting, a key part of their training, and the children had a chance to pet them.