Fidelco Guide Dogs: A Clients Perspective with Bill DeMaio


Fidelco Guide Dogs: A Clients Perspective with Bill DeMaio, Superintendent for Newington Parks and Rec. Hosted by Renee DiNino, Director of Community Affairs for iHeartMedia Connecticut.

Bill shares his journey from the age of 30 when he was first diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, his first guide dog Isaac to present day and current guide dog Lyric.

Retinitis pigmentosa(RP) is a group of rare, genetic disorders that involve a breakdown and loss of cells in the retina — which is the light sensitive tissue that lines the back of the eye. Common symptoms include difficulty seeing at night and a loss of side (peripheral) vision.

Guide Dog Etiquette Tips

If you see a dog in harness, they are working.

  • Do not create any distraction: don’t attempt to pet the guide dog, talk to it, call out, whistle, etc. Any distraction of a guide dog’s focus on its job creates risk for dog and handler. It’s all about keeping the team safe!
  • Always ask the handler for permission: even if the dog is out of harness, the handler might not want you to pet or interact.
  • Do not grab the harness or dog: if you think a handler needs assistance, the best thing you can do is ask them if you can help in anyway.

For more about Fidelco, including info on puppy-raising and ways to donate, visit:

Fidelco.org