Faces in the Crowd: Pam & Blossom
Welcoming a dog into the family is always a special time, but when your dog has a job to do — it’s that much more significant.
Pam Fisher had eyesight up until the age of 15. Numerous eye diseases took over her sight until she became 96% visually impaired. Adjusting to her new normal wasn’t easy, she explains, but not impossible.
Pam says, “I had really good vision — then it disappeared. Living a life in the dark, you just kind of acclimate. You could have a choice — you can live your life in misery or you can live your life to the fullest and I enjoy life. I love to water ski, I love to go hiking, I love the Black Hills. It’s my home and just because I’m blind it doesn’t stop me from doing anything I want to do.”
Pam worked for 22 years in the restaurant business and worked her way up to General Manger at one point. She is now is a stay-at-home mom and volunteers at her church.
When she found out she could apply for a guide dog, Pam jumped at the chance. Once accepted, she trained with guide dog Blossom for three weeks, who already had about two years of training under her harness. The dogs are paired with handlers based on many facets, Pam and Blossom were a match made in doggy heaven.
Pam says jokingly, “Oh my gosh, it was love at first sight!”
The nonprofit organization Guiding Eyes for the Blind in New York provides trained dogs to people who are blind or visually impaired at no cost to them. While in training, Pam learned how to use the leash and harness and the duo worked to become a team — an opportunity Pam is grateful for.
“Because of the donations and the love of people that make it happen and when she accepted into getting eyes for the blind your family. I am eternally just indebted to them — they are just an amazing organization.”
Once they got home, they began to deepen their relationship, establish daily routines, and learn new routes and destinations.
Blossom is a typical dog who loves kisses and belly rubs, but also loves to work. And once that harness is on, Blossom becomes a professional, guiding Pam through life.
“I feel so much more independent being able to have a dog versus a white cane and trusting her is indescribable, having this life to got me through whatever I need to go through.”
Now, Pam can go through life with the help of a trusted friend, saying “you don’t quite feel so alone.”