In response to Feature Writer Terri Winaught – From Humble Beginnings, Fred wrote:
It was my privilege to attend the Pilot Dog Alumni convention from June 22-24 held this year in Northbrook, Illinois. Pilot dog has been in existence for 52 years, and it is the only school with an alumni association that holds conventions on an annual basis.
At these conventions, we participate in obedience and obstacle course competitions, enjoying food, friendships, and fellowship.
Throughout the year, and during the convention, the alumni raise money for the ongoing Pilot Dog program. The cost of producing a Pilot Dog team is between $8,500 and $9,000, far less than the cost of other guide dog schools, and the quality of training and dogs is stellar.
I received my first Pilot Dog in 1971, and am currently working with my seventh Pilot dog.
Fred Sanderson, Pilot Dog Alumnus.