The trio of Westley, Waffle, and Gus – all Labrador Retrievers – took turns to guide a blind man to finish a marathon in New York City. Each dog was tasked to run about three to five miles and created its mechanism of pacing during the marathon.
Before the competition, the three dogs were checked by veterinarians to ensure they were in good shape going into the marathon match day. They were regularly given fluids for hydration purposes to ascertain they could survive the long run.
Their master is a 48-year-old blind man and became the first of their kind to finish the NYC half marathon. He was able to finish the 13.1-mile race with the help of the trio, and he could not be grateful enough for all three of them.
Among the three dogs, Gus is the oldest at seven years old. Gus is Thomas’ long-time running companion, so the owner made it sure that Gus will be the last dog to guide him through the finish line in Central Park.
Thomas shared that he lost his eyesight during his early 20s, but he does not want to let his disability get in the way his desire to run in marathons.
Although disadvantaged because of his condition, Thomas has already competed in 20 marathons with help from human guides. This is the first time he sought the help of dogs, which for him form part of his life as a blind man.
Thomas believes that all of his dogs love to run, so this fueled him to finish what he started and joined the NYC marathon.
For Thomas, the bond he creates with his dogs through running is the best medallion he could ever receive as an athlete. More than this, he wants to inspire other people with disabilities that they can do more through the help of dogs.
Thomas built a foundation which is named Guiding Eyes for the Blind, which now has more than 20 dogs who help blind runners fulfill their dreams to reach the finish line.
Credits to Inside Edition.