A 9-year-old yellow Lab named Tanya from Arizona whose human partner is a blind golfer was honored as 2015 Dog of the Year at the Guiding Eyes for the Blind Annual Golf Classic June 12, 2015. The award is sponsored by Canine Company of Wilton CT and will be presented annually to a Guiding Eyes graduate. Tanya is a 2007 graduate of Guiding Eyes and has been partnered with Dick Pomo of Green Valley, AZ every since. She was chosen for the award because of the special role she plays in her handler’s life. Pomo is a blind golfer and, in addition to golfing near home, the pair travels to New York each year to participate in the Guiding Eyes Golf Classic.
Tanya received a trophy and a basket of toys and treats from Jennifer Hill, President and CEO of Canine Company. In presenting the award, Hill said “Guiding Eyes dogs provide safety, freedom and a quality of life for their handlers that needs to be celebrated. That is why we are such an active supporter of Guiding Eyes for the Blind and wanted to sponsor this special new award.”
Pomo retired in 2005 and was partnered with Tanya shortly after moving to Arizona. Tanya is well know in Green Valley because of her daily walks with Pomo, during which they meet many locals and share information about Guiding Eyes. He said Tanya “allows me to travel independently and share the kind of love that only those who love animals can understand. Every night before turning in, I drop to my knees and give her a hug and kiss and thank God and Guiding Eyes for the joy I experience each day”.
Canine Company provides at-home pet care products and services that help pet parents keep their dogs and cats safe, healthy and happy. The company offers Invisible Fence® brand pet containment systems and Manners at-home obedience training across the northeastern U.S.
Guiding Eyes is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides guide dogs to people with vision loss as well as service dogs to children with autism. Since its inception in 1954, Guiding Eyes has grown to be one of the foremost guide dog schools in the world, known for its accredited training programs and lifetime commitment to its graduating teams. Guiding Eyes is dependent upon contributions to fulfill its mission and provides all services free of charge.