Guide dogs are true blessings from heaven. They are great reminders to everyone that our dogs aren’t just normal animals that exist to look cute and for us to cuddle with. Rather, they are furry angels who can make disabled people live a normal life once again.
This is the story of a legally blind teenage girl from Lexington, Ohio, named Sami Stoner. Sami has Stargardt Disease meaning her eyesight has been getting worse over the years. The disease makes the central part of Sami’s field of vision blurry. Although she could still see shapes, she couldn’t see any details.
Her eyesight started to become blurry at the end of seventh grade. Sami was shocked at first, thinking about her future job opportunities, and the fact that she couldn’t do many of the things she used to do. But after that initial shock, Sami was able to move on, and to prove that she is ready to take on life, she wanted to do something that’s never been done before.
Sami told her mom and dad that she wanted to continue running cross country for her school. At first, her parents were puzzled. Given her condition they didn’t know how it would be possible. Then Sami explained that their Golden Retriever, Chloe will help her during the race.
Sami’s parents weren’t too sure about her plans, but they gave her their blessing. Sami’s cross country coach explained that they had to process a lot of permits and certificates to allow Chloe to run with Sami during official school meets. But since everyone was very supportive of Sami, they got the green light.
Sami and Chloe would start one minute behind the other racers, for safety reasons. Then at the very end of the race, that one minute lag is deducted from their time. Sami’s story goes to show that even if life dealt us a bad hand, we can still live our lives to the fullest, especially if we have a loyal dog beside us.