Guide dogs assist the blind to find their way through the world safely and freely, but one guide dog now need assistance himself.
Dogs are curious by nature and the Leckner family’s black Labrador, foreman, is no exception.
Foreman, however, uses his curiosity to an advantage
“He was her first,” said Lindsey Leckner. “He was the one who showed her what it was really like to have a dog and to work a dog and know what that lifestyle was like.”
Foreman became Lindsey’s roommate Sarah Balzer’s best friend and coworker. He was trained to be Sarah’s eyes.
Lindsey is also blind and has her own guide dog named Alice.
Lindsey’s family adopted Foreman shortly after he retired from the guide dog business.
“He is like a teddy bear because he’s big, he’s gentle,” said BJ Leckner, Foreman’s owner. “We like to call him the gentle giant.”
But, it wasn’t an easy retirement for Foreman.
“We started noticing a change in behavior,” said BJ Leckner. “He started going off by himself more, going and sitting in the corner, not participating in the family’s comings and goings and I knew something was off.”
A situation that was all too familiar in the Leckner home … foreman was going blind.
‘We noticed his eye started turning red and that’s when we got a diagnosis of just an eye infection with some antibiotics to take home,” said BJ Leckner.
His condition worsened, so the Leckner family then took him to a different vet.
“At that time she realized his right eye was totally blind and his left eye was headed in that direction,” said BJ Leckner.
More than $5,000 has been spent to save foremen’s sight.
“He’s like a child to us, all of our animals are,” said BJ Leckner. “And, for all of the dog lovers out there, they understand that. Money doesn’t stop you from doing what you can do for your animals to make them healthy and to make them comfortable.”