The blog of Canucklehead.
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Cheer you on at a marathon … OK …
In today's Internet world, almost anyone who acts in a uniquely brave or selfless manner is labeled a "hero" and is featured on one website or another but years ago, many people who stepped out of their comfort zone to better the lives of others were barely acknowledged. New research projects are bringing some of these personalities to light including the story of Dorothy Harrison Eustis who paved the way for the disabled to enjoy a higher quality of life through the use of service animals.
Dorothy Harrison Eustis was a well-to-do gentlewoman who didn't need to work, but once her "hobby" of raising dogs to assist sight-impaired individuals was publicized, the requests for help convinced her to put all of her efforts into creating quality programs that would train leader dogs and match them with people who needed their services.
Eustis had been living in comfort in Switzerland when she became aware that her dog-training could be put to use to improve the lives of blind people. She began to put all of her efforts into the new venture, hiring dog trainers and traveling from city to city to assist sight-impaired individuals as they learned to work with their Seeing Eye dogs. She opened a school which served as a center for the program to which blind people could come for training.
As I suspect many of you already know, I'm now an art exhibit guy. Or something. It's all rather sudden and confusing - like most things about me are I suppose. I guess it might be best if I start at the beginning - although doing so will require a bit of time on both our parts I'm afraid - so please bear with me -- I do promise it will be worth it.
It was actually November of last year when I attended an evening of talks. It's called 'Ignite London'. Actually, I was giving a talk myself that night - but that's a story for another time. Or not. (UPDATE: you can see it HERE). Anyway, all the talk were amazing (I LOVED THIS ONE!) but the one that is most relevant to tonight's story is this one …
In short, my hometown was launching a local chapter of the Awesome Foundation, aptly titled Awesome London. (Worth noting: I live in London, Ontario.) There mission is simple: Forwarding the interest of Awesome in the universe, $1,000 at a time. Anyways, I originally considered becoming a trustee, but quickly decided I'd instead pitch ideas - that's where the real fun is. I'm a BIG fan of awesome, so last month I went ahead and proposed and idea. (You can read my full submission HERE.) To make a long story short, I ended up winning. Believe me, no one was more surprised than me. The other two pitches (three are chosen from all submissions) were both fantastic and well - I was shocked. Here's a picture of the happy moment ….