by Susan Stone
When Jody Sandler and his wife Caroline realized that the Yellow Labrador Retrievers that didn’t quite make the cut as seeing eye dogs with the local branch of Guiding Eyes For The Blind might be able to be used in service elsewhere, they set out to find these pups another purpose. With a little bit of specialized training, these smart and sweet dogs were put to work as service dogs to children on the Autistic Spectrum. Most particularly, the pups are trained to prevent these children from doing the one behavior that is most dangerous to them…they keep them from ‘bolting,’ which leads many to serious injury or even death. Because of the exceptionally mellow personality of this particular breed of dog, they also become a ‘social lubricant’ for many of these children, who suffer communication difficulties with their peers.
Jody and Caroline have placed ninety service dogs with Autistic Children in a geographical area within a two hour drive from Hopewell Junction, N.Y. where they are now located, having developed Blue Path Service Dogs after Guiding Eyes dropped this valuable program. They provide life long training and assistance with the dogs they place to the families and children who require it, and consider it an honor and privilege to do so.
Jody Sandler, a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and CEO of Blue Path Service Dogs, can be reached at 845-377-0477, or at jody.sandler@
bluepathservicedogs.org. Additional information about this organization, how to access its services or how to support it, may be found on their web site at: bluepathservicedogs.org.