Guide Dogs of Texas changing lives for the visually impaired - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Guide Dogs of Texas changing lives for the visually impaired

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -

Captain takes his job very seriously. This Labrador has the job of steering the ship, or in this case, a team of two.

Captain and Joel Lawson are the 59th team to be partnered together by Guide Dogs of Texas, an organization that provides dogs to the visually impaired.

Joel Lawson developed Retinitis Pigmentosa when he was 13-years-old, an eye condition that deteriorates eye pigment to a point that renders many victims legally blind.

But the 28-year-old maintains a very active life, making Joel and Captain a perfect match.

A dog as highly trained as Captain costs anywhere between $40,000 and $50,000.

But personal donations are helping put Lawson and Captain together.

Sarah Mumme is Captain's trainer. She says the goal of Guide Dogs of Texas is to find the perfect match.

"We breed our dogs for very specific temperament and physical characteristics," Mumme said.

Captain is Lawson's second guide dog through the organization. He says that his relationship with Captain is so much more than just being Man's Best Friend.

"It's almost like having a child," Lawson said. "But he's a friend, he's also a utility, all of those combined into one is exactly what having a guide dog means to someone like me."

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