Klinger — Guide / Hearing
As Klinger jockeyed for position with his twelve 5-week-old siblings in the whelping kennel at Guiding Eyes for the Blind, little did he know that at the same moment, his future human partner was in a life-flight helicopter after being struck by a car while riding his tandem bicycle. In the spirit of meeting a unique need, 2 years later, Klinger became the first-ever certified dual-purpose running guide dog in the USA.
After Richard Hunter, USMC Blinded Veteran, had recovered from his injuries, his entire family became hyper-vigilant of distracted drivers, knowing that Richard was still running solo with his limited vision. Klinger not only offered Richard a new sense of freedom and his family peace of mind, Klinger’s success paved the way for other guide dog teams to follow in his paw-steps.
Though Klinger is limited to running 6 training miles in Richard’s neighborhood, he became Richard’s most frequent running guide, helping him train to become the second blind runner in the USA to complete a 100-mile run.
Klinger’s friendly and gentle disposition has made him a wonderful ambassador to educate the public about guide dog etiquette. His welcoming eyes easily find those of a dog lover in a quick glance making it challenging for people to ignore him. Klinger offers love, companionship, laughter and a sense of safety to Richard, and watches him intently while at home waiting for the opportunity to harness up and get to work.