Recently, we received a request for a guide dog for a 10 year old child. The family has been trying to locate a suitable seeing eye dog for their daughter but without any luck. They found that responsible trainers don't allow children under 17 to have guide dogs. The obvious question is, 'Why can't my child have a well trained guide dog if she is 10?'
Here is the question asked by one of her parents:
'My daughter is the one who is in need of a dog. She is almost 10. We adopted her from China when she was 4. You can actually "google" her on internet under "Cricket Bidleman." In the US, we cannot find a guide dog provider who will provide a dog to any child under 17 years. Cricket is in regular school, and her only difficulty is when she moves from class to class or to the field because even with a cane, she ends up running into things a quite a bit since she can't see.'