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Bedford Deputy Clerk Knows Town, Guide Dogs

BEDFORD, N.Y. — Bedford’s deputy town clerk Nina Kellogg is known to know everything. If you have a question about a marriage license, a grant application, an alcohol permit, Nina Kellogg is usually your last stop. For Guiding Eyes for the Blind, though, Kellogg acts as an integral first step.

Guiding Eyes for the Blind is a school for guide dogs in Yorktown and has been breeding and training dogs for over 50 years. Kellogg and husband Jeff have been involved since 1995, acting as brood fosters.

For Guiding Eyes, brood fosters take in a dog and keep it active, pledging to walk her 3 miles a day. The day’s exercise is used for both parties, as Kellogg calls the required miles “cheaper than a gym membership.”

The Kelloggs also cater to puppies, taking in brand new puppies while showing them aspects of early socializing, creating their sensory “reference library.”

“During that time they are heavily socialized by staff and volunteers,” said Michelle Brier, the events and marketing manager at Guiding Eyes. “They get really comfortable with human contact, learning basic obedience by 8-week-old.”

Kellogg’s work, along with many other volunteers, has helped Guiding Eyes become a staple of the guide dog community, giving those who are without sight a major improvement to their lives.

“Their lives are wholly changed and enriched,” Brier said. “Anyone who gives to that as far as a puppy raiser, or a volunteer, the amount of pride you feel for being part of giving someone else wings is very compelling and rewarding.”

This month, the Kelloggs were able to see part of their extended family move onward, as Pacer, a former puppy of theirs, graduated the school. The ceremony represented one of the reasons for giving their time and care.

“We’re here to watch this culmination of this very long journey, now he’s changing somebody’s life,” Kellogg said. “We’re a small piece of the puzzle but we’re just glad to be a part of it.”

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