Here is Renee's interview with Keith Gile, a retired Milford, CT resident and first-time Fidelco client.
He shares his story about his dog Becca, who partnered with him in 2018 thanks to Fidelco.
About Keith Gile
Keith G., a retired Milford, CT resident and first-time Fidelco client, has been described by a long-time friend as an “intellectually and physically active” person. Married to Kelley and father of an adult daughter, he has a variety of interests: books on tape, cribbage, tandem cycling, walking, working on perfecting his golf game, and attending local hockey games.
While born with Retinitis Pigmentosa, a degenerative eye disorder, Keith’s visual impairment did not deter him from being physically active--he played competitive hockey and tennis at his Massachusetts high school and was a hockey team captain in his senior year. A college graduate, Keith enjoyed a long career in the technology industry where he also had the opportunity to extensively travel abroad.
Though Keith learned about Fidelco years ago through a presentation made at his daughter’s elementary school, he was a white cane traveler for many years, walking only in limited areas where he felt comfortable. He knew the benefits of guide dog partnership through his brother who had several guide dogs from another guide dog organization. When he chose to move on from white cane travel at the urging of his daughter, Keith applied to Fidelco because he wanted a German Shepherd guide dog partner and to be trained in his home community.
Since partnering with Becca in early 2018, Keith has become an independent traveler who relishes his ability to go wherever he wants without having to rely on others. He says that he now moves more quickly with Becca by his side and has a welcomed sense of responsibility, resulting from his need to care for Becca. With renewed confidence, Keith has taken his interest in golf to a new level—he recently joined the U.S. Blind Golf Association with the goal of entering a blind golf tournament. Becca is apparently an enthusiastic supporter of his efforts, intently watching him as he practices his golf swing!
“We are so grateful to Fidelco for giving me my independence back and gifting me with a miracle on four paws, my best buddy, Becca,” says Keith.
Fidelco's mission continues while we follow protocols to keep both humans and dogs safe. New puppies are being born and raised. Dogs-in-training are learning valuable skills in home environments. Together, we will meet the needs of our remarkable clients for years to come
Visit fidelco.org for more info!