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Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind, Inc. - Smithtown, NY
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Below are the 14 most recent journal entries recorded in Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind, Inc.'s LiveJournal:

Tuesday, August 12th, 2008
1:47 pm
It seems that not a lot of people have posted since I last visited this group.

I just wanted to give an update.

I am paired off nicely with a black lab/poodle cross named Jim. He's intelligent and quite fond of cuddling. Not to mention he's an amazing guide. He will be going to school with me in a week. I am thrilled that we're finally a team.

Hope everyone's summers are going well.

Current Mood: calm
Wednesday, June 11th, 2008
10:30 pm
Just Out of Curiosity
Does anyone know who may be attending the July 08 classdate?

I am going to be there. I'm flying in from Chicago and only know that no one else is from Chicago or Illinois. I met one other person. :)

I would like to know more.

Current Mood: amused
Sunday, June 8th, 2008
6:42 pm
New Member

My name is Sarah. I just got accepted for a classdate for July. I'm thrilled to be getting a dog and to gain independence.

Feel free to browse my journal. I'm new to this community, but hopefully by meeting more people.. I'll fit in soon...

Current Mood: awake
Saturday, June 30th, 2007
5:39 pm
Phyllis Herrington
I received the following in e-mail from Wells Jones, CEO of GDF, and I'm forwarding it along:

It is with deep regret we announce that staff member Phyllis
Herrington passed away late Friday morning. As you know, Phyllis was
fighting a courageous battle against her cancer. Over the last few
weeks, Phyllis made the difficult decision to cease treatment. She
died peacefully in her home with family and friends by her side.

The entire Guide Dog Foundation family mourns her loss.

The family is planning a funeral in Mississippi, and a memorial
service has been tentatively scheduled within a few weeks on Long
Island. We will get back to you with further details.

Please feel free to forward this message.

I then received another message:

Hi everyone!

If you have been wondering what you can do to honor our good friend
Phyllis Herrington, here's one suggestion for you. An account is now
set up and active at GDF to collect funds for sponsorship of a guide
dog to honor her contributions to the program and to each and every one of
us and our dogs. When there is $6000 in this account, a family member or
close friend will name the dog.

Here are a few suggestions as to how you can go about contributing to this

You can donate via credit card by calling Kathy Genovese at the Foundation
at: (631) 930-9055 or you can send a check to the
Foundation and mention that it is in honor of Phyllis Herrington. The
address of the foundation is:
Kathy Genovese
Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind
371 East Jericho Turnpike
smithtown, NY 11787. Please indicate on both your check and the envelope
that you are contributing to the sponsorship in honor of Phyllis Herrington.

you have any other questions about how you can contribute, you can
also Email Kathy at kathyg@guidedog.org.

Remember, no amount is too small. Even a single dollar is like the
friendly hello Phyllis would offer to any of us.
Feel free to encourage anyone to contribute to this fund and given
the start that it already has, wouldn't it be fun to see all of the
gifts Phyllis gave to us and to this program leaving puppy fur on
some puppy walker's clothing by this fall.
So, thank you Phyllis! For all of the chats; for all the
encouragement; for the empathy, the laughter and most of all, for
your lasting contributions to education of the staff and the public
and for bringing so many people to the Guide Dog Foundation, where
your lasting contributions to education of the staff and the public
and for bringing so many people to the Guide Dog Foundation, where
their lives were enhanced by receiving a great guide dog. Good girl,

I personally want to thank Veronica Elsea, a former GDF graduate and good
friend to Phyllis, who helped compose this announcement.


Pat Mitchell

I am deeply saddened by this news, and I wanted to pass it along to fellow graduates - I don't have the words for how important Phyllis has been to the GDF family, but I know you all know how I feel.

Current Mood: crushed
Friday, June 29th, 2007
7:21 pm
RIP Phyllis Harrington
A few weeks ago, Rachel reposted the message that Phyllis sent to the GDF Talk email list that she was stopping all treatment to fight her cancer. It is with a sad heart that I post this message from Wells Jones which I copied from the same email list.

I am sending the following message on behalf of Wells Jones:
It is with deep regret we announce that staff member
Phyllis Herrington passed away late Friday morning.
As you know, Phyllis was fighting a courageous battle against her cancer.
Over the last few weeks, Phyllis made the difficult decision to cease
She died peacefully in her home with family and friends by her side.
The entire Guide Dog Foundation family mourns her loss.
The family is planning a funeral in Mississippi
, and a memorial service has been tentatively scheduled
within a few weeks on Long Island.
We will get back to you with
further details.
Please feel free to forward this message.
Sue Goss
Executive Office Coordinator
Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind, Inc.?
?Our 60th year providing Second Sight

RIP Phyllis Harrington, you will be missed by all.

Current Mood: sad
Friday, June 15th, 2007
1:43 pm
A message from Phyllis Herrington
Some of you may have received this already. Here's an e-mail that went out over the GDF-Talk list:

The following is a message from Phyllis Herrington. She is on leave, and
has asked the Foundation not to share her home phone number. She is also unable to receive e-mail. If you would like to send a message to Phyllis, please send it by U.S. mail, addressed to:

Phyllis Herrington
Care of Guide Dog Foundation
371 East Jericho Turnpike
Smithtown, New York 11787

Postal mail received for her by the Foundation will be delivered each day, and read by friends or family. Members of the Foundation?s staff have been very supportive of Phyllis, and are very sad about their friend and co-worker. While we would all like to call to say how much we care, or ask how Phyllis is doing, imagine the number of calls that can become. Instead of calling, please say a prayer, or send her a note.

Dear Graduates,
For almost a year and a half I have been battling stage four breast cancer.
They found it in my liver, brain and bones. Many of you are aware of this and
have expressed your well wishes and prayers. My faith and spirituality have me through these hard times. As I now close this chapter of my life, please don't mourn for me. Remember the fun times and conversations we've had. Although I have chosen to stop treatment, I am continuing my fight. God bless you all and thank you for being who you are.
Phyllis Herrington
Consumer Services

I bought one card for her and one for Fordham, and I'm going to send them out probably today or tomorrow. Phyllis is a light in the world, and I intend to tell her so. No sense saving that for when she's dead, right?

Current Mood: sad
Wednesday, May 10th, 2006
9:10 pm
Hi community members.  I have a request given to me by a Guide Dog Foundation alumnus.  We are looking to find anyone that attended the Guide Dog Foundation, Inc, of Smithtown, NY, US and is a professional level musician.  If you have both of these qualities, would you be interested in participating in a fundraiser for the GDF next spring?  If so, write a message below so that I collect the appropriate information from you.

Thans you.

Cross-posted to gdf_inc, guide_dog, and blind_musicians
Sunday, April 16th, 2006
11:13 am
How could you?
I got this story in my e-mail box and was so touched that I felt many of you would appreciate its intent. It was written by a "dog person", but can be felt and understood by all.

A man in Grand Rapids, Michigan incredibly took out a $7000 full page ad in the paper to present the following essay to the people of his community.

HOW COULD YOU? By Jim Willis, 2001
When I was a puppy, I entertained you with my antics and made you laugh. You called me your child, and despite a number of chewed shoes and a couple of murdered throw pillows, I became your best friend.
Whenever I was "bad," you'd shake your finger at me and ask "How could you?" -- but then you'd relent and roll me over for a bellyrub.

My housebreaking took a little longer than expected, because you were terribly busy, but we worked on that together. I remember those nights of nuzzling you in bed and listening to your confidences and secret
dreams, and I believed that life could not be any more perfect.

We went for long walks and runs in the park, car rides, stops for ice cream (I only got the cone because "ice cream is bad for dogs" you said), and I took long naps in the sun waiting for you to come home at
the end of the day.

Gradually, you began spending more time at work and on your career, and more time searching for a human mate. I waited for you patiently, comforted you through heartbreaks and disappointments, never chided you about bad decisions, and romped with glee at your homecomings, and when you fell in love.

She, now your wife, is not a "dog person" -- still I welcomed her into our home, tried to show her affection, and obeyed her. I was happy because you were happy. Then the human babies came along and I shared
your excitement. I was fascinated by their pinkness, how they smelled,and I wanted to mother them, too. Only she and you worried that I might hurt them, and I spent most of my time banished to another room,
or to a dog crate.

Oh, how I wanted to love them, but I became a "prisoner of love." As they began to grow, I became their friend. They clung to my fur and pulled themselves up on wobbly legs, poked fingers in my eyes, investigated my ears, and gave me kisses on my nose. I loved everything about them and their touch -- because your touch was now so infrequent -- and I would've defended them with my life if need be. I would sneak into their beds and listen to their worries and secret dreams, and together we waited for the sound of your car in the driveway. There had been a time, when others asked you if you had a dog, that you roduced a photo of me from your wallet and told them stories about me. These past few years, you just answered "yes" and changed the subject. I had gone from being "your dog" to "just a dog," and you resented every expenditure on my behalf. Now, you have a new career opportunity in another city, and you and they will be moving to an apartment that does not allow pets. You've made the right decision for your "family," but there was a time when I was your only family

I was excited about the car ride until we arrived at the animal shelter. It smelled of dogs and cats, of fear, of hopelessness. You filled out the paperwork and said "I know you will find a good home for her." They shrugged and gave you a pained look. They understand the realities facing a middle-aged dog, even one with "papers." You had to pry your son's fingers loose from my collar as he screamed "No, Daddy! Please don't let them take my dog!" And I worried for him, and what lessons you had just taught him about friendship and loyalty, about love and responsibility, and about respect for all life.

You gave me a good-bye pat on the head, avoided my eyes, and politely refused to take my collar and leash with you. You had a deadline to meet and now I have one, too. After you left, the two nice ladies said
you probably knew about your upcoming move months ago and made no attempt to find me another good home. They shook their heads and asked "How could you?"

They are as attentive to us here in the shelter as their busy schedules allow. They feed us, of course, but I lost my appetite days ago. At first, whenever anyone passed my pen, I rushed to the front, hoping it was you that you had changed your mind -- that this was all a bad dream... or I hoped it would at least be someone who cared, anyone who might save me.

When I realized I could not compete with the frolicking for attention of happy puppies, oblivious to their own fate, I retreated to a far corner and waited. I heard her footsteps as she came for me at the end of the day, and I padded along the aisle after her to a separate room. A blissfully quiet room. She placed me on the table and rubbed my ears, and told me not to worry. My heart pounded in anticipation of what was to come, but there was also a sense of relief. The prisoner of love had run out of days.

As is my nature, I was more concerned about her. The burden which she bears weighs heavily on her, and I know that, the same way I knew your every mood. She gently placed a tourniquet around my foreleg as a tear ran down her cheek. I licked her hand in the same way I used to comfort you so many years ago. She expertly slid the hypodermic needle into my vein. As I felt the sting and the cool liquid coursing through my body, I lay down sleepily, looked into her kind eyes and murmured "How could you?"

Perhaps because she understood my dogspeak, she said "I'm so sorry."

She hugged me, and hurriedly explained it was her job to make sure I went to a better place, where I wouldn't be ignored or abused or abandoned, or have to fend for myself -- a place of love and light so
very different from this earthly place. And with my last bit of energy, I tried to convey to her with a thump of my tail that my "How could you?" was not directed at her.

It was directed at you, My Beloved Master, I was thinking of you. I will think of you and wait for you forever. May everyone in your life continue to show you so much loyalty.

A Note from the Author: If "How Could You?" brought tears to your eyes as you read it, as it did to mine as I wrote it, it is because it is the composite story of the millions of formerly "owned" pets who die each year in American & Canadian animal shelters. Please use this to help educate, on your websites, in newsletters, on animal shelter and vet office bulletin boards. Tell the public that the decision to add a pet to the family is an important one for life, that animals deserve our love and sensible care, that finding another appropriate home for your animal is your responsibility and any local humane society or animal welfare league can offer you good advice, and that all life is precious. Please do your part to stop the killing, and encourage all spay & neuter campaigns in order to prevent unwanted animals.

Please pass this on to everyone, not to hurt them or make them sad, but it could save maybe, even one, unwanted pet.

Remember...They love UNCONDITIONALLY.

Cross-posted to various places.
Saturday, March 11th, 2006
1:23 pm
School news
Well, I have two pieces of bad news and one piece of fun news.

Sad news #1Collapse )
Sad news #2Collapse )

Fun news! GDF-Talk conference call every Saturday!Collapse )

Current Mood: restless
Sunday, December 11th, 2005
1:28 pm
Shameless Plug
(Note; Mods, if promotions are not allowed, please delete this and I will not be offended/never promote in here again.)

Hi people!!

I posted a few weeks ago with a breif little introduction to myself. I also gave you all a link to a yahoo group that I'd started to host my training journal on. Changed my mind; LJ speaks more volume than my measley old email group, so thus have started a training journal community at caitsdogjournal to host my training journal.

The guy from GDF is coming for a home interview on Wednesday, and I am so nervous. I'll write about it in the community though, in case you all are curious. So, please, go check it out and spread the word...I'm on the Internet. :)

Crossposted to my journal, guide_dogs, blindpeople and blindteens...sorry for the repeat postage...

Current Mood: happy
Wednesday, December 7th, 2005
7:11 pm
seeking adult blind participants for nyc study

I am a graduate student who is part of a team begining to study how hearing, deaf, blind, and seeing brains respond to different combinations of sensory stimuli. If you live in the nyc area and have congential blindess please read our call for participants below. Please email with interest or any questions to brainbuddy@gmail.com Thanks, Meredith

Nathan Kline Institute- Rockland County, NY

Our Cognitive Neurophysiology Laboratory is looking for people who have been blind or deaf since early childhood to participate in a research study. The study will record non-invasive measurements of brain activity while participants perform a multisensory task.
This is the first study to compare how the brain’s response to touch varies between blind, deaf, and sighted and hearing participants. We will also assess how the brain combines information from the sense of touch with visual and/or auditory information. We believe that early blind and deaf individuals may have developed special abilities to process and respond to these kinds of multisensory combinations. Understanding the way senses are combined in the visually- and hearing-impaired will help to develop more effective rehabilitative therapies and adaptive environments to facilitate daily living.

To complete the multisensory task, small vibration stimulators and LED lights will be placed on the forefinger and thumb of the participants’ hands. Two speakers will also be aligned next to their hands. Participants will be asked to respond to each stimulus by depressing a foot pedal with their right foot. The vibration will feel like vibrations from an everyday pager or cell phone.

Participants will wear a cap, similar to a swim cap, for the duration of the experiment. The cap has holes in it where electrodes are attached. These electrodes will monitor and measure the activity of the brain (also called EEG). EEG is very much like EKG used for heart monitoring; just as a tape recorder records the voice, an EEG records the brain’s activity. This is a non-invasive, pain-free procedure. Gel will be put into the electrodes to make sure there is good contact with the scalp. Participants’ hair will be washed at the end of the recording session. Putting on the cap and going over informed consent will take about 45 minutes.

Participants will be reimbursed $10/hour for their time. Lunch and snacks will be provided. Participants will take regular breaks from the experiment throughout the day. We estimate that this study will take between 6 and 7 hours. Transportation will be provided if necessary.

If you are interested in participating or have any questions, please contact us:

Cognitive Neurophysiology Laboratory
Nathan Kline Institute
140 Old Orangeburg Rd.
Orangeburg, NY 10962
Phone: 845-398-6538
Friday, November 25th, 2005
10:44 am
Prospective Student
Hey There.

My name is Caitlin, I'm 17 and a senior in high school. I live in Smithtown, New York. (Home to the esteemed cause of this community.) I have applied to get my first guide dog and I hope to attend GDF in July of this year. I mean; 2006...oops, my bad.

Anyway, if anyone could give me any tips, suggestions, support, anything, it would be much appreciated. I've thought about getting a guide dog for quite a while now, but only decided to do it now with the thought of college looming in the very near future. *Cough August / September 2006* Anyhow, any help you all could give, or words of wisdom would be appreciated. Anything I should know about the school? Training? Anything...

Also, I have started a training email group on yahoo, since I have heard that those are helpful to do/keep. And I'd like to help prospective students or just curious people. The group has an amazing *2* members in it, so please join up if you'd like. If I get more people there, I'll actually write an update. The address is


Yes, it is quite nice. So, yes...prospective student, nervous and excited. I'll keep you all posted as I get info on my application.

Be well and happy.


Current Mood: happy
Monday, November 7th, 2005
6:24 pm
Oh cool, a GDF community!!!
I'm Kerri. I'm an 18-year-old totally blind college student dividing my time between home on Long Island and school in Westchester. I began working with Jasmine, an absolutely gorgeous Black Lab, in July of 2004. We've gone through quite a lot together: high school, college, New York City, trains, planes, malls, boats, and everything in between. She has such a great personality, always greeting everything with a wagging tail, and I often wonder how I got this lucky to be paired with her.
I had a great time over at GDF. I still keep in touch with some of my classmates and try and tell everyone about the school. I even see Jazzy's puppyraisers sometimes since they live about a block over from my best friend. Jasmine was the seventh dog they'd raised and last time I talked to them they were about to return their eighth.
It's soo cool that we have a community for our school. If you want to friend me, go ahead. We can talk dogs.
Monday, October 31st, 2005
5:06 pm
I don't expect this community to be huge, but I really think of GDF as something like a second (third? fourth? whatever) family, and I thought it'd be nice to have a GDF community. I envision this as a place where GDF folks can connect with one another, and where people interested in applying to guide dog schools can ask questions about GDF and our experiences there. I also think it'd be neat to hear from some puppy walkers, sponsors, etc., if they're on here.

I'm Rachel, and Brodie (my lab-poodle cross) and I graduated from GDF this past June. She's my first dog. I'm absolutely smitten with her, and I never want to go back to cane travel again, although of course it will sometimes be necessary. Of course, it's also been a huge adjustment and a lot of hard, exhausting work. I've been overwhelmingly impressed with my experience with GDF, particularly with the people there and the way they tailor their training to the individual's needs.

Anyway, hi! Incidentally, I don't believe in the whole mandatory introduction thing, but if folks feel like introducing themselves, I certainly won't argue. :)

Current Mood: pleased
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