Can data help more guide dogs get matched with people who need them? That’s what Jane Russenberger of Guiding Eyes for the Blind is banking on, and what IBM is helping her find out.
Currently, as few as 37% of puppies make it through guide dog school and become service dogs for the blind. It costs Guiding Eyes more than $40,000 to raise each and every dog – so even a small improvement could make a big difference and enable them to help more people.
In an adorable new video, IBM demonstrates a few of the data points they collect to help determine whether a puppy has a successful future as a guide dog. Sounds a little dry – but not when it’s a story told through the eyes of a puppy.
That’s right: except for one shot of him as a puppy, this video is filmed entirely from Jackson’s perspective. You see his experience with his raising family; his rigorous professional training; how he learns to navigate urban obstacles and respond to commands; and his eventual placement with his new owner, who he’ll guide to safety for the rest of his life.
Give it a watch on YouTube but consider yourself warned: watching Jackson progress through training may have your eyes welling up in tears – it certainly did for us.
To make sure your eyes are in good health and free from degenerative problems that lead to blindness, schedule an eye exam at your local FYidoctors.