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A Seeing Eye Love Story

A collage of three images: A young couple smiling in a park with a black lab seated between them; a close-up of a black Lab wearing a leather harness and blue bow tie; an extreme close-up of a gold heart-shaped dog tag with crystals that reads,

On this Valentine’s Day, The Seeing Eye would like to share with you all an amazingly heartwarming story about a man, his dog, and his girlfriend turned fiancé.

Jim Neitzel was born with a degenerative retinal condition that degraded his eyesight since he was four years old. Jim writes that, “I stopped seeing school blackboards at 12, gave up my car keys at 25, lost my ability to recognize faces at 30, and began full-time white cane travel at 35.” Jim soon found that full-time white cane travel was not the most favorable thing for him to depend on, so he decided to apply to The Seeing Eye.

Jim was matched with his first Seeing Eye dog, Skip, a black Lab, and graduated in March of last year. With Skip’s assistance, Jim describes how he has been able to refocus his senses and feel far more comfortable traveling everywhere and anywhere he needs to go. When talking about his first walk through his neighborhood with Skip, Jim states, “I met 3 neighbors, marveled over half a dozen different bird songs, and reveled in the aromas of countless local restaurants. Skip delivered those gifts to me…”

Jim is not the only one Skip has delivered gifts to. When returning home from The Seeing Eye, Jim had the wonderful idea to include Skip in his marriage proposal plan to his girlfriend, Amy. Jim put a blue checkered bow tie on Skip along with a dog collar tag that reads “Amy, will you marry me?” Amy said yes! We are so happy for them and know their futures together are bright.

Happy Valentine’s Day from your friends at The Seeing Eye!