Man's best friend answers call of duty

Loss of sight can make even simple tasks a struggle, but when you can turn to man's best friend, the struggle can be alleviated. A school for guide dogs, also known as a “seeing eye”, in the Moscow region has more than a hundred obedient stude

The school is unique in Russia and the whole CIS. It was founded after WW2 to help veterans blinded in combat. During the nigh-on 50 years the school's been in operation, 4,500 dogs have received their graduation honours.

“The dogs learn to help the blind get round any barriers – trees or pavements. They have to pass a test. We put on dark glasses and take the dog for a walk. It suddenly changes its behaviour as if it realises that it’s now responsible for someone’s life. Dogs understand everything, they feel it’s their duty,” said Lyudmila Vereshchagina, a guide dog trainer.

“It’s a tough job to pick the right dog for the right person. We look at their physical attributes, character, and temperament. There should be no domineering on either side. If the blind person is agile, the dog must be active, too,” explained Oleg Isaenko, the school’s director.