Guide dogs help blind, visually impaired Long Island students navigate life during pandemic

HUNTINGTON, Long Island (WABC) -- Students on Long Island who are blind or visually impaired are preparing for life after the pandemic with the help of new guide dogs.

They attended a free, 10-day training program with the Guide Dog Foundation on Long Island.

The students met in Huntington to learn how to work with their dogs as a team.

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This included practicing walking a straight line, following a path, maneuvering around obstacles on the ground and overhead, crossing the street and handling elevations like curbs and stairs.

"Needless to say, a couple nights ago, I had happy tears in my eyes because she's going to make it possible to go and do so much without relying on a cane and relying on family members, friends to help me get around," guide dog owner Kaitlyn Hodges said.

Hodges says she is normally terrified about going to the mall or any other place with large crowds. But she says the dog has already shown her how to navigate both easily with him by her side.

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